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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Celebrating the minor miracles

I just went trudging across campus to retrieve one of my water bottles, which in my typically absent-minded state I had left in a classroom, and I was mulling over what to put in today's post. I was feeling systemically grumpy--both classes were deadly dull, and adding to the insult, there is a ton of P&B work to be done before the end of the semester, not to mention an even larger steaming pile of work to be done for Assessment (not to mention the 600 kinds of computer hell I'm in at the moment because of various updates that simply make things stupid if not outright impossible)--but then I thought, "Well, I have all the assignments marked for all my classes." And I realized that is a rare and beautiful thing.

I have turned over every piece of paper I've received from students either to the students themselves or to the subs who will be covering my classes the next two days. So I have nothing at all in my hands from students.

Let us savor the moment.

I can also add that the subs won't be collecting much, if anything, so I won't come back to campus on Monday to face a stack of student work that needs to be tended to. There may be one or two bits that trickle in, but nothing much. And from here on, it's mainly their papers.

I can't even get my knickers in too large of a knot over the paper grading that will fill the rest of the semester for me: I have, I believe, a grand total of 22 students left--and that's all three classes together. That's less than full enrollment in one class, never mind three. I do still wince and writhe more than a little under the knowledge that I've lost so many, have so few left, but as always, the upside is that I have that much less work to do. I really can't complain too much (if at all) about the work load in terms of my classes.

Committee work is a different matter--and is driving me relatively bats. Today's P&B was mercifully very brief (which allowed me to grade one paper I wasn't sure I was going to get to)--but our next meetings, and the Tuesday after the semester ends, we'll be interviewing job candidates. We still haven't figured out how to conduct Skype interviews, or when those will be scheduled, and the whole process may be entirely moot anyway, as Bruce suddenly is a lot less confident than he's been that he'll be able to secure any lines in which to hire anyone.

On the other hand, he did suggest that we'll have a contract soon--and he didn't seem miserable about what the contract might contain. I don't know that I'm prepared to hold my breath on that one, as he is often overly confident that all will turn out well and soon, but if he is right, well, that would be a relief to say the least.

Right now, however, all I really want to do is tidy up the little stacks of whatever that are swirling around my various work spaces and go away until next Monday. It would be nice if I could also do that without having an anxiety attack, but apparently my body has decided that it hasn't felt anxious enough today, so it's taking this opportunity to stir up a nice jolt of adrenaline. But no matter what I do tonight, or what happens between now and the end of the term, I will not cause the end of the world. As the Cockneys would say, it will all be the same in a thousand years. So really, who gives a rat's petite patoot? I am out of here for five days. Huge sigh of relief.

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