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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Rather like nature ...

... work abhors a vacuum. And I'm not talking about the condition of my carpets at home. What I mean is, the second I think "Oh, I've got a moment clear here," some flurry of work gets sucked into the hole. Today I was grinding, grinding away at grading papers--I finished the last three after the class in which I should have returned them (but the students were very gracious about coming by to pick them up later so they'll have my feedback prior to doing their revisions)--and even so, just when I thought, "I can take a minute to wolf down my lunch," the phone rang and I needed to go downstairs and tend to some P&B business. It didn't take long at all, but I lost those few precious seconds.

I am really, really, really rethinking my whole process for marking versions and revisions. I know I got thrown by being sick, but I didn't even have as many papers as I could have (given the number of students who have disappeared or simply didn't turn one in), and it still was just brutal getting through them all. Even with a whole new pairing of stories, so I'm not seeing the same problems I've seen for umpty-ump years, by the end I thought I was going to go screaming out of my mind.

But the Native American Lit class today was a wonderful respite. And I do think that going over the sample theses was a good idea. And the papers are all graded. I have other miscellaneous bits of detritus that's been building up over the past two weeks that I'll have to clear out of my hair in the next two weeks. But not now. Not now. I get to have a few days to turn my brain off entirely--gawd almighty, what bliss--and then try to remember how to be a scholar. That will be a very interesting journey. I was looking through my promotion folder from the last promotion yesterday, and I realized I'd actually done more scholarship than I remembered: conferences, even a few publications. I've been neglecting that for the past year or more, and I really want to get back into it. Time to start trolling those calls for papers again....

But not now. Not now. Now I'm just going to slowly pack myself up for the week to come and gently move myself homeward. Nice and easy, nice and slow.

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