Students Sound Off, and Vociferously: Part 1
These are some of my best essays, all graded according to my rubric. As promised in the same post, they are excerpted as follows.
One student in particular outright hates America’s first serious female candidate, and defends our first serious African-American candidate while he’s at it.
Hillary Clinton would not be where she is today if she wasn’t a woman. The worst part about it being that she uses it against her equally qualified competitors who are male. Change and wanding something new is how she starts and finishes, not to mention the ever-so-sickening line, “What can be more new than a woman president?” [sic] The fact that she’s using the gender card is giving herself and females in general a horrible look. …
Obama has to fight to prove himself as a younger candidate and gets flack for being black and not being black enough at the same time. This sickens me. This is America. Why can’t people just be people and not worry about gender or race? What is it that some should feel guilty for not voting for the Black guy or that one chick running? …
If America was in fact truly the land of the free, gender and race would not matter. It’s time for people to start listening and stop watching. The fact that people like Edwards can’t get a fair shot at the presidency because he’s up against two “firsts” is horrible.
Maybe we’re not ready for change after all.
He had started his essay by contrasting the Democrats to the Republicans, lamenting that the Republicans “had great candidates like Ron Paul, John McCain and Mitt Romney.”
Perhaps to show that his answer isn’t reflective of my own carefully guarded bias, another student, to put it nicely, disagrees. It was good enough that I couldn’t help but transcribe it in full:
When it comes down to who I want to lead my country, I don’t care so much how they say it but rather what they say. Former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo said, “You campaign in poetry, but you govern in prose.” I don’t shame his thoughts.
I believe that what you represent and how you campaign is how you will govern. We have two Democratic candidates what fit this perfectly. We have Obama who is the poet and who sways the crowd with his speeches and we have Hillary who sticks to what matters.
Yes, Obama the poet. It sounds nice, doesn’t it? Well, I don’t want a president who can quote Shakespeare and get me all teary-eyed and emotional and have no idea what he’s doing. Yes, he can rally a crowd and get everyone pumped up and to follow him no matter what but that makes me think of another leader in history and his name was Hitler.
Yes, he went there. Give him a break for not thinking of perhaps fairer conjectures. It continues.
Obama never sticks to the issues or what matters. He just plays the crowd, and who knows what he would all of a sudden stand for if he were in office?
Hillary Clinton may not move the crowd. She may not be able to dominate you with her every word. No, Hillary is straightforward and lets you know where she stands. I feel that I could trust someone who is telling me the truth rather than dancing around it.
Mario Cuomo got it wrong. It does not take poetry during a campaign because we have candidates in the lead right now without all the fancy “speachers.” What’s important with any leader is that they are straightforward and let us know where we are being led.
This and the essay that includes the earlier excerpt received full credit. Both would have competed for top score between the classes, had the first author not bombed the second essay with a five-point score.