Laurie Taylor Column

May 18, 2001

How many have you got left to do?

About 78 methods, 97 theories, 46 semiotics and 26 film studies. And you?

Much the same. Did you get stuck in last weekend?

I knocked off a couple of dozen theories before the cup final, but then the kids wanted to go out in the sun and so I ended up on Sunday evening shifting a few semiotics during the Bafta awards. How about you?

I cracked through a few structuralisms in the garden on Sunday and then skipped faculty board on Tuesday afternoon and made a bit of a dent in the hermeneutics.

Still averaging ten minutes a script?

More or less. But I have tried to bring a bit of rationality to bear. I read the first page of every answer and then make a preliminary judgement of class. And then when I have finished the lot I see if those scores give me a normal distribution: a few thirds, quite a few lowers, masses of uppers and about three firsts. If it does not, then I will go back to one of the piles and read a few second pages.

Makes good sense.

I think so. I mean, when did you ever read an answer that dramatically improved on the second page?

But how about the precise marks?

Well, in my opinion it is the class that is critical so I do not place too much store on the exact marks. So, if we are talking about upper seconds I will randomly allocate 62s, 63s, and 64s.

But how do you decide who should have the high marks - the 67s and 68s. Do you have a new method there?

Basic aerodynamics.

Aerodynamics?

That is right. You take the whole pile in two hands, throw them up in the air, and then see which ones land face down.

A Daniel come to judgement!

I like to think so.

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