My Feelings on Student Peer Editing

I think peer review in a general sense to be a good thing, I was aided a great deal today by discussing the assignment with a peer. I discovered that I was making the paper too difficult for myself and needed to focus on only a small portion of the original article instead of the whole thing. As is often the case with me, I was over thinking it. But something else came up that made me want to slap “Student X” across his ignorant face and excuse myself from this social experiment that is community college.

Paper editing and the constructive criticisms versus nonconstructive criticisms situation is what I think makes student peer review a big crock of crap.

I have to listen to “Student X” tell me I don’t understand the assignment, while I read the assignment back to him from the guidelines ten seconds later refuting what he just said and the professor chimes in to back me up and then in the same moment take his review as anything but asinine trash?

I think not.

I am simply expressing the lack of fairness here. I spent time on his paper, I really tried to help him make it better and really tried to use my knowledge of English and composition to help him build a better final draft. And what did he do for me? Handed me back an unmarked draft sheet and repeated himself four times on the review sheet with nothing whatsoever that could be called “constructive” in any fashion.

I am sorry I did it. I’m sorry I spent even ten seconds reading his paper. He can talk to the professor if he wants revision help, he doesn’t have anything to contribute to other students in the form of peer review editing.

This is why think peer review editing is a waste of everyone’s time, unless carefully organized so you do not have students of highly different skill levels working together whatsoever.

Because “Student X” is writing a paper based around an article saying that “American students are lazy” and personally I think the better issue to be focusing on today is that: “American students are STUPID!”

It is possible some of this may come from the instruction, in this case.

The instructor made a point about not “just giving positive feedback” and perhaps “Student X” and others only hear this as “give negative feedback.”

I don’t believe this to be a case. I think critical thinking is needed to do editing and not to discuss concepts freely, and critical thinking is a rare commodity these days.

I have always had a passion for learning and academics, but people like “Student X” are the reason why I likely will never get into becoming an educator.

I have no tolerance for idiots.

If Women Ruled the World…

’Women’s Liberation’ Aims to Free Men, Too

 Gloria Steinem, The Washington Post, June 7th, 1970

“Simply Incorruptible”

“ONE FINAL myth that women are more moral than men. We are not more moral; we are only uncorrupted by power. But until the old generation of male chauvinists is out of office women in positions of power can increase our chances of peace a great deal.”

“I personally would rather have had Margaret Mead as President during the past six years of Vietnam than either Lyndon Johnson or Richard Nixon. At least she wouldn’t have had her masculinity to prove. Much of the trouble this country is in has to do with the masculine mystique: The idea that manhood somehow depends on the subjugation of other people. It’s a bipartisan problem.”


I do not fully subscribe to Steinem’s logic that women are uncorrupted by power. I believe absolute power corrupts absolutely, with no exceptions. However, it may very well be true in the time the words were first spoken that if the so dubbed ‘masculine mystique’ were removed from the scenario that many atrocities committed in Vietnam might have been averted.

The greater issue, in my mind, is always resources and the means of production. Such matters supersede the confines of gender and gender roles. I am, however, quite willing to commit to the idea that if only women were allowed to hold administrative offices that there would indeed be far less warfare in the world as a whole.

Ultimately, there would be no end to wars and subjugation of one over the other. I envision a world of more practical wars and even more decisive moves than those we see in leaders both of the past and today. The War Machine would continue, but take a form it has known before. A much more humble machine.


Gloria Steinem is a free-lance writer and a contributing editor of New York Magazine. The accompanying article [above quote] is excerpted from a commencement address at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. Miss Steinem says that it “was prepared with great misgivings about it’s reception, and about the purpose of speaking at Vassar.”