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Saturday, February 11, 2017

Not so productive

So, electronic grading.

I'm not sure whether the issue is that I write more extensively, since I'm using a keyboard instead of a pen and ink, or whether it's all the futzing around I have to do with formatting things (pasting the rubric into the student documents so they have both is infuriating: all the formatting turns into I don't know what--and not always the same I don't know what--and I have to reformat it all to get it to fit), but it's taking longer than usual to mark the assignments. I am dealing with a little bit of a learning curve, figuring out what's possible and best ways to get to what's possible, but it's not as smooth and easy as I was hoping. I've been at it for most of the day today, and I barely made a dent. I have everything graded for the Monday conferences, but there aren't very many of those--and a number of the students scheduled for those conferences haven't submitted an essay (which reduces grading time significantly, of course, as all I have to do is shrug). But I have twice as many essays to mark for Tuesday--and if I don't get the vast majority of them done tomorrow, I'm going to be truly frantic. I won't even pretend to myself that I'll get them all done (that would be best of course, but fantasies are usually better than reality). The main thing is that I will have almost no time for marking anything during the day on Monday, and even less on Tuesday. I think you can see the domino chain from here: reduction in available time, days passing, more essays that must be done...

Of course, I've sent seven e-mails to students containing a marked essay and reminders about what they need to bring to their conference, and with each e-mail I've asked for a confirmation of receipt--and so far I've heard back from precisely one student. I do realize that I may be driving myself wild to mark essays in advance of conferences for students who may not bother to retrieve said essay in advance of said conference--but thus it ever was.

Further in the good intentions going nowhere department (is that where we were?), I also told myself I'd get up and walk around a little after every second essay. Not.

Well, there's always tomorrow, which is, as we all know, another day when I am sure to be stronger. (I'll need to be, if I'm going to accomplish what I have to accomplish--which includes getting to the grocery store. That at least will get me out of my chair and unkink my knees.) I'd keep working now, in fact, except the protests my body is registering are getting hard to ignore--and I do need to wind down at some point, and winding down always takes me a good stretch of time. I may end up burning the midnight whatever tomorrow to crank through my quota, but for tonight, I declare what I've done sufficient unto the day.

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