October 24, 2008

Why I avoid grading at 11 pm on Friday

Sent to a student a few minutes ago:

One way to think about the conflicting-interpretations question is to think about UNDERLYING issues. You may have covered this in the overview of the case, if you said something like, "In the McCormick v. Smith case, most of the opinions focused on the core issue, which was whether there is a constitutional right to high-quality cinnamon. Justice Lindt's dissent noted that while there is no explicit right to bark-origin spice in the constitution, except for the "equal cuisine under the law" clause of the Twenty-Eighth Amendment. While Lindt's analysis is similar to the majority opinion written by Justice Au Gratin, Lindt argued that the history of state provisions of herbs and spices over decades, and the existence of a Right to Taste in every state constitution, implied a right of social citizenship that encompasses cinnamon. Lindt's argument was very similar to that of Penzey et al., who point out the changing assumptions of Americans about what good food is and their willingness to share vanilla and cocoa as well as a cup of sugar with their neighbors, proving that while justices try to be impartial, they do watch election returns, and they know they'll have to eat their neighbor's cooking at some point in their lives."

Okay: you probably WON'T write that. But keep in mind that the suggested structure is there for a reason, as a helpful prompt. If you address the issue with a different structure, you can do quite well. But do remember it as a prompt!

For the record, I did not go to any panels on the social history of food.

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Posted in Out of Left Field Friday on October 24, 2008 11:17 PM |