The Unbearable Importance of Grading

I doubt I can even count the number of times professors have said to me that the only part of our profession they truly dislike is grading papers. I've seen colleagues retire because of the burden. Can grading be so awful? In fact, although little discussed, it is one of the primary venues of teaching.

I remember vividly the first papers that came my way, as a graduate student at the University of St. Andrews, in Scotland, in 1970. In those days (perhaps even now), students wrote by