This Was Supposed to Be a Live-Blogging Attempt
That would have been neat, huh? You could have stayed up to date, up to every minute, about the exciting brilliance that is the Azerbaijan 2010 Writing Olympics essay judging! I would have filled you in on the nifty turns of phrase used by our erudite scholars, gone through the debates over creativity and originality, and captured the down-to-the-wire, heart-pounding arguments over essay quality. Unfortunately, my blogging skills don’t quite measure up to the needs of the live blog updates. Instead, you get this mediocre mid-judging summary. We’re in the Peace Corps Lounge in Baku throwing down judgment on the Writing Olympics essays and their writers. Despite the hundreds of submissions, there isn’t anything a group of PCVs can’t accomplish together…right?
About 18 of us Azerbaijan PCVs rounded up in the lounge, essays in hand, judging eyes at the ready. After organizing all the essays into regions, each group of four-five PCVs took essays from a region that was not their own (so as to prevent any regional biases, of course). The discussion was hot with topics of golden fish, haircuts, and dreamy getaways to Australia. At one point a few groups paused to reflect on an essay about why the grass is green (think about that for a while and try to come up with something more creative than “chlorophyll is green, so grass is green…”)
The best essays were given high scores on originality, creativity, and succinctness. With some, it’s easy to to tell where they are going with their thought process, and with others its possible that they actually were in a dream-state while writing their responses. Fortunately for our nerd olympians, we didn’t deduct points for poor handwriting.