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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Possibly impossible

I've just had to do a little juggling of the assignment schedule for the Mystery and Detective class, as they're struggling with the P.D. James--apparently because it's an actual novel, with the kind of rich literary detail of any real novel--and in the process, I was looking at how many papers I have yet to grade and what's coming in next week, hoping I could maybe put off marking stuff for the 101 class, and no: I can't. And I have to get the papers back to the M&D students on Thursday, even with shifting the assignment schedule a little, so they can revise before their next papers are due. I still have 15 of their first papers to grade. And I have to get the first papers back to the SF students next week, preferably on Tuesday, so the rest of the week I can work on papers for the 101 class (as I'm collecting their second submissions of their second essays on Monday), plus try to whack through the reading responses for the electives--and I have 20 papers from the SF class yet to grade, at least one of which I know is plagiarized, but that means I have to gather the sources the kid stole from, and another is probably plagiarized, but I have to evaluate the sources Turnitin is directing me to in order to see if it really is plagiarized or if the student is just using quotations that the online sources also use. Maddening--because it's time consuming, dammit.

I took papers with me on my trip and did as much grading as I could stand. And I have to be honest and say that, although there were some things about the trip I enjoyed, on the balance, I was not happy: I couldn't relax and have fun, but I couldn't settle down and grind away at the work. So, all in all, it was pretty much a colossal mistake, and I'm sorry as hell I did it. Note to self: don't do that again: what you get out of it is not worth what it costs before you go and after you return: I was frantic enough before I left to have serious doubts, but I'm really, seriously paying for it now.

I got up at 6 this morning, hoping to get in by 9 and get a good jump on the work before the seminar hours meeting at 11:30. I have no idea what happened, but I didn't get here until 9:45: I might as well have gotten up at 7, like I usually do, and arrived at 10, like I usually do. Then I got absolutely bugger all nothing done that mattered prior to the meeting, mostly because I was busy responding to the problematic colleague who absolutely refuses to understand why she doesn't get the online courses she wants the way she wants them: I arrived in the office to find two e-mails, two phone messages, and a note in my mail box. I was going to ignore the whole mess, but the voice mails and note in the box put me over the top, so I "had" to respond. I even brought it up in P&B--mostly to alert Bruce and Cathy that they might have to deal with some blow-back about the whole situation. And everyone on P&B looked at me, stunned, and said, "Why are you getting dragged into this? Everyone knows that, once the schedules come out, the scheduling committee doesn't have anything to do with them any more, and that the assistant chair handles problems." That was beautifully reassuring, I must say: I really shouldn't be getting hauled through this mess. I will say, after I explained--again--exactly who does what when, that I got a very kind and gracious e-mail from the colleague in question, so, well, I hope that's the end of that.

I'm also dealing with coordinating a grade grievance hearing--not all on my lonesome, thank heavens, but in concert with a colleague with whom I used to work when I was on Academic Standing. I'm one of the department's P&B representatives, as the faculty member against whom the grievance is being brought is from our department; the other coordinator is one of the three members of Academic Standing, he's the "co-chair" representing that committee. But there's been a lot of e-mailing going on about that, trying to contact the faculty member in question (who is an adjunct, thus hard to reach), and so on.

There are also now promotion folders to read through before next week's P&B meeting. I have no earthly clue when I'm going to do that. Really: none. I could get up at 5 every day and stay here until 10 every night and I still can't see when I'll have time to look at them. Apart from Paul and one other person, I can't even remember who my mentees are. Not that it matters: I'm supposed to read them all--and I think we have quite a few of them. Bugger bugger bugger.

Oh, yeah: and I haven't looked at the online discussion board stuff for the 101s in weeks--plus I have a lot of reading to do to be ready to talk about the books in the electives on Thursday. Christ on a bright blue bicycle.

I really wanted to cancel class tomorrow, but I can't, not when the students' next papers are due on Monday, and they need to get the preliminary versions back from me first. But I may have to call in sick to Advisement again. I hate to do it--especially as things are starting to pick up in there--but something has to give, somewhere, and I can't figure out what else can go.

I know that one way or another, by December, it will all be done--but getting through the next two weeks is going to be hell on wheels. I may not have time to post, so please don't worry if I "go dark" for a bit. I'm just working until my eyes glaze over, then staggering home to try to sleep until I stagger back to hammer away at it again.

And my eyes are glazing over, so off I go.

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