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Monday, September 27, 2010

Horseshoes and Handgrenades

Those are the two instances in which "close" counts. So the fact that I was close to having all the papers marked and back to the short-story class this morning actually means I didn't do what I meant to--should have. I did save the best for last, so the two I had left to finish this afternoon were pretty good (mercifully)--and I know that at least one of those students will indeed pick up her work before the next mini-paper is due. But I have managed to dig myself into a right nice little hole, with a big backlog of miscellaneous homework to plow through before I can turn my attention to the big essays that I'm starting to collect. I'm experiencing an awkward domino effect: because I lost a lot of the weekend (best laid plans and all that), I got up at 5 this morning to finish up. I didn't quite finish up, so I have that backlog--but I'm too fried (from getting up at 5) to tackle it tonight. So I will have to work on the backlog tomorrow--but now I've also got serious papers to mark. Plus, from the papers I did manage to return, a number of students (rightly) felt sufficient panic to want to come see me before their next papers are due. So I'll be meeting students tomorrow when otherwise I would be getting caught up on assignment marking. Which pushes back the grading of the significant essays, which means more early mornings....

OK, not dominoes. Snowball. Great, honking, huge snowball, gaining size and momentum. Possibly about to trigger an avalanche. Please have St. Bernard dogs standing by. The little neck-kegs should be filled with bourbon, please, or scotch.

But I do know--despite how frantic all the above sounds--that I will work more productively and with more patience if I give myself a some time to build up my reserves. The snowball may grow a bit in size, but after some recuperation tonight, I'll have more strength to put myself in its path and start knocking it down to size. For now, I'm going to do some shuffling of papers ("organizing" feels productive but requires little brain effort), some house-keeping of official documents (checking the "final" roster against my records), and then will call it a night as soon as my official office hour is over. Early home, early fed, early--I hope--to bed. And then, what is it, that thing that Scarlett says? Oh, yeah: tomorrow is another day. I'll think of that tomorrow, when I'm stronger.

And somehow it will all get done and back to the students. It always does. Though I still don't understand why the cats steadfastly refuse to mark any homework or papers at all. Useless animals.

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