Please, dear colleges that I work for, do not make the personal essay part of the curriculum.
When you make the personal essay part of the curriculum, I am forced to read things I don’t want to read.
I am forced to know things, about actual strangers, that I don’t want to know.
And, in the midst of the personal essay that I may be reading about getting sexually abused while in jail for weed possession I am supposed to critique commas and verb tense.
Or while I am reading about an “adult” student who was denied food by her foster family, I am supposed to talk about dangling modifiers with her.
The personal essay, in a college-essay-writing course, is irrelevant, unhelpful, and a whole freaking can of privacy and boundary worms.
It forces me, the lowly adjunct, to send out emails like this:
SO, I AM BEGGING YOU, English department chairs the world over and then some, stop the madness. DUMP the personal essay. Or, at the very least, make the math teachers grade it.