…in which Feminéma does the math re: her weekend
21 September 2012
If I want to return my students’ papers by Tuesday, I must grade 14 per day.
14 is a lot. 14 a day can take 14 hours if you let it. Even if you whittle it down to 30 minutes per paper — which is whizz-bang in my experience — that’s still 28 hours spread over the next four days during which I do not shop for groceries, do my laundry, prep for next week’s classes, answer email, make myself some kind of nutritious food, watch a movie, or have a nice afternoon on the deck with a novel. 28 hours of fierce, concentrated attention and holding back one’s temper.
So, naturally, my immediate response is to start doing other things. It’s equivalent to the sound of the alarm in the morning — even if I’m already awake, I think, “But I want to get more sleep!”
Here’s how that looks: if I keep hitting the figurative snooze button, on Sunday night I will think, “Tomorrow I need to grade 56 papers.”
Grading the first one is always the worst. Sometimes I even go through a stack and think, I’ll grade Antoinette’s first, because she’s an excellent student and has surely produced good work here. And then I start reading and beat my head against the wall.
Another solution is to pour yourself a glass of wine and start reading. That old stereotype of finding coffee stains on one’s work is a myth; in reality one finds red wine stains.
What I really need to remember is that I’m the one who blithely believed, back in August, that scheduling papers due in both my classes was not a terrible idea. Yes: I have done this to myself.