So, clearly I need some kind of assistance when I put together my assignment schedules, as I keep creating problems for myself. Part of the problem is that whole "I don't know how long it takes to do anything" problem (which, I may have mentioned, seems to be genetic, as my mother and sister are afflicted with the same disorder), but I also have to admit that I made two erroneous assumptions based on past experience: 1) Very few students would want to sign up for a conference (au contraire: about half the students did); 2) By this time of the semester, there would be very few students left in my classes, period (see previous blog posts in which I was happy not to have my usual 60% attrition rates; I might change my mind right about now).
I will say that almost half the students from the 5:30 class were AWOL today; their assignments are trickling in--and I've slammed the door on any more conferences this week. I've also severely truncated the number of conferences on Monday. I'm not inclined to be very forgiving of late submissions at this point, when I have so little time to turn things around.
So, I am here later than I have been in a while because I wanted to get all the homework I've been collecting from the Nature in Lit students marked and back to them. I have a few revisions to evaluate, but I'm in no particular hurry about that. The homework, however, was getting ridiculous--but it is now marked and the grades recorded. I'm being unduly generous with marks, but, ah well.
Tomorrow I have class--and then I will be ferociously churning through essays: fourteen students have signed up for conferences on Thursday, so I have to mark the vast majority of those essays tomorrow. I can hold off on maybe two, maximum three, of the essays for students who won't see me until late on Thursday, and try to squeeze grading them in between the conferences--but the best thing would be to have all fourteen marked so any grading I do on Thursday is that much less I have to do over the weekend.
As it is, on Friday I have to come in and work on adjunct schedules with Cathy. I expect I'll stay here in the office and grade for as long as I can stand it. (That may not be very long, I grant you, but any teeny bit will help.)
Back to my inability to understand how long things will take, or when things have to happen: Paul and I are supposed to go out tomorrow (in addition to the potential gathering of all four of us--Paul, William, Kristin, and me--next week); I made the reservation and everything. It was only after class tonight that I suddenly thought, "Oh, wait. I might not be able to leave the office before, say, midnight tomorrow..." I've alerted Paul to the possibility (probability) that I'll have to bail on our dinner date. Maybe he'll be down from Massachusetts some time in June, and he and I can go out then.
I also made an utter fool of myself in front of P&B. (Well, metaphorically in front of P&B: it was in a series of emails.) Cathy asked what we should do about the fact that we were going to do a lot of work in our department meeting but now the meeting has been canceled. What? Why? I kept asking, thinking surely I had my head on straight--I remembered a meeting on Thursday that we all have to go to, and I was sure everyone else was confusing the dates--until another member of P&B reminded me: there's a huge, all faculty vote on the change to the by-laws that's been causing all sorts of ruckus for the past few weeks. In order to change the by-laws, there has to be a vote attended by 2/3 of the full-time faculty. That vote is happening when our department meeting was scheduled. (Not just ours: that's campus wide.)
Oh. Right. That.
We've had to split up the things we were going to do in that final department meeting: there will be a separate little luncheon for the retiring faculty members on the last day of classes (I'll be in Advisement); some of the information will be disseminated by email (by repeated emails); we'll hold an additional meeting in September, above and beyond the all-campus date for department meetings. (This is not without precedent.)
And at some point before that last day of classes, I have to not only do all my essay grading but also review those year-end evaluations and write up my P&B stuff for them. Oy gevalt.
Well, none of it will get done tonight, that's for sure. It's 9:30--and I don't know where (or what) my dinner is. (My cat is wondering the same thing.) It's time to pack it in. I'll be back in about 12 hours...