“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
by any other word would smell as sweet”
-Juliet, The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, II.ii.43-44
If you were doubting our English geek cred, this should put it to rest. We made this page because, to be frank, we found that there were those on the interwebs lacking a heightened sense of irony. English teachers are nothing without their sense of irony. That’s how this website got its name.
We were casting about for something to do with the interminable discussion we were having in our office, and it occurred to us a blog might be just the thing. But what to call it? Something catchy no doubt. Easy to remember, with a punchy immediate sense of what we were about. How about “The Paper Graders”? And the 21st century being what it is, 20 minutes later we were on blogspot. Once we started writing, we were somewhat committed to the name, and we like it. For the blog it fits, and it is easy to tell people how to find us, and they tend to remember it. We have discussed changing the name, and we have some plans that may, at some future point, require a certain rebranding. For the moment though, we are sticking with it.
But, to be clear, the name is a JOKE people. Yes, we are ELA teachers. Yes, we read a lot of paper, ’cause it’s our job. Sadly, we must ‘render unto Caesar’ at the end of the semester. However, we hate ‘grading’ as such, and are very concerned with what the conversion of learning into empty external symbols does to learning (it isn’t good), and worse, what the use of those symbols in high-stakes situations does to students. If you are reading the blog, we hope that comes through. If you HAVEN’T read our stuff about grades, start here.
Who would sign up for this job for the grading? It seemed self-evident that the name was not to be taken literally. As often happens, what seemed self-evident was not. A name is “but a mere scutcheon. And so ends my catechism.” (Falstaff, Henry IV1, V.i.40-41)