Progress Report–Part I–School Work

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Hi all!So I haven’t given a progress report in a couple of weeks.

I’ll start with the academic stuff first so you can skip the workout stuff if you want.

Done with the grading except finals, for which I have a plan for the grading which really involves grading all day. I have either written the world’s easiest final test (it’s not really an exam I guess because I gave the essay questions as a take home portion of the test which they seemed to think was a great idea for them. It was a great idea for me because I could ask the hard essay questions but having it due before the final exam meant I had more than one day to grade 70 essay exams). Or I have written the hardest. I can never tell. I guess we’ll find out. I think for those who paid attention and took notes it will be easy peasy. It took me five minutes to answer all 37 questions or whatever. So we’ll see.

But I got everything done! And basically on the schedule I was shooting for. I promised that everything turned in early for the lit classes would be finished by the time they got to class on Thursday or Friday. So when the take home finals came in, in each of the classes I had about 1/3 of them done before the days they were due. Because I also took up their final lit analyses at the same time (I have some serious soul searching to do for how I’m going to do the schedule next quarter). So on Wednesday, I had probably graded about 20 exams and responses. On both Thursday and Friday, I had graded approximately 40 PER DAY! But they were done! And the grades for those two classes are actually not only calculated but plugged into a spreadsheet so all I have to do is figure out the final’s percentage, plug it in, and the math is done!

The theory class–it took me all weekend to get the 20 research essays done. I only had the strength to get through 14 of them on Saturday. They were a bit frustrating. Only one person failed the research essay because zi decided that a 4.5 page paper was an acceptable submission for an 8 page essay. Some stopped at 6. Some who are clearly engaged in the theory–I know from their other work–turned in stuff that you would expect from hardline lit classes. And some just still don’t know how to engage in the theory. I feel like in some ways I failed a few of them, and I was really low about it yesterday. But then I considered how the ones who did poorly were the ones I never saw with a book (they took notes, but whatever), the ones who never spoke in class, and that while I do need to rethink how I do the class (not too much though), I think in 99% of the cases here, it was the student who failed hirself rather than a total failure on my part. Those who were engaged, were engaged. Those who struggled through, struggled through. For the most part, I’m proud of them. For the most part, they’re a wicked smart group of kids. But Dr. Crazy is right (I’m too lazy to link to the post I’m sure most of you are already familiar with), English majors and good students will turn in crap if you let them. And a couple tried to turn in crap. And the one student who knew zi was going to struggle with the paper, I have the utmost respect for hir because zi was the ONLY one to come talk to me about it. And zi just about knocked it out of the park. At the beginning of the quarter I had doubts about zi’s ability to hang with the class and about hir ability to be successful in the major. But zi brought up failing work to knocking the paper out the park with a B+. I’m extremely proud of zi!

And today I pick up their take home finals. But those grades are all calculated as well. I just have to plug the final exam in when it’s done.

So today, I begin grading the take home finals during my office hours and do what I can to get as many of those done and grades calculated and then continue to grade while the lit stus are taking their final exam. Then it’s home to work out and grade the exams tonight, finish calculating the grades and submit the two classes’ grades tonight.

Oh, and then I have to pack.–That’s been the real push to get all of this done. A) I didn’t want to happen what happened over Thanksgiving–get sick from hours of marathon final grading and get a neck and back strain from hours and hours of marathon grading; and B) I have to travel Tuesday, and I want to do the least amount of work possible in Home City re: grading. It will already be a break that’s not a break, so if I can 75% of the work done before I leave, then well, that’s what I need to do. And unfortunately, as soon as I get in Tuesday night, I will have to grade before I can go to bed so I can find somewhere to submit grades on-line in Home City. I don’t think we have internet at the house anymore unless the roommate got his own internet.

In Home City this week I need to do some tinkering with the lit syllabus–I have things I need to change. And I need to do the 101 syllabus. I think most of the stuff from the fall will stay, but there needs to be some adjustments. And I have to write an article over break, too, because I actually have to read and do research for the conference paper at the end of May for which I have nothing done. It’s fine because it’s stuff that will work toward a larger project, but it’s not something I can do everything for in just the four days between the end of the quarter and the conference. I want to enjoy the conference city this time unlike two years ago when I was holed up writing for three days. Ick. But that means that the article that’s ready to be written needs to be written and sent off by the time the quarter starts. And I have a summer teaching app to work on.

At least it will feel like a vacation because I will get to get my hair done. I’ll get to buy new shirts and some new lipstick. I’m going to get a mani/pedi for the first time in like 10 months. And we’re going to eat at our favorite restaurant. So maybe I’ll feel like I’ve gotten some rest since I won’t be in town?

Have a great week all! The blogging will be light as I have a bunch to do, or a bunch I want to do, and the internet situation will be questionable.

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