Wednesday, January 18, 2006

End-of-semester panic

My students are all in a frenzy over the end of the semester (we only have a week before the finals commence) and I just want to sigh and shake my head and say, "Exactly where were you when you were failing my course a month or two ago?" They have the internet to check their grades and I post grades (with ID numbers, of course) on the back board and I harrass them regularly about large assignments. I am now getting a barage of emails from parents--"So and so has this late work to turn in, etc." Too little too late--this is why I cut late work off this coming Friday. I don't want to waste my grading day (a week from this coming Friday) taking care of random late work. I want to spend it clearing through the last muck of this semester (finals) and spend it getting ready for Semester II.

I'm pretty excited about starting over. I always feel like things get piled up and I'm wading through so much. Right now I'm working my way through freshmen research papers. I feel like I have spent my life grading freshmen research papers. Some are awful, some are quite good. The grading breakdown is working out OK, and so far I'm only having two people rewrite it. If I were a responsible teacher, I'd probably have over half of them rewrite it, but I just can't take looking at them again! Maybe in the spring when I have more energy. (Oh wait, the musical...)

Anyway, if you have been waiting to hear from me and haven't, this is why. 90 research papers (most of which are painful to read). Final exams. One Act play. (Renting a UHaul for the One Act.) Gearing up for the musical. Not forgetting the lit mag. Dealing with parents. Failing kids and trying not to feel guilty about it.

Non teacher story of the night: There's this gentleman in our neighborhood who takes a walk every morning and every night. He came by our house to yell at us for not shoveling. Blar. (Technically, I thought we had 24 hours and technically, I thought it had to be more than an inch.) It took us only a few minutes to get it cleaned up, but it still made me cranky. I wanted to tell him all of the things that I do every day and how a twelve hour day isn't abnormal for me, etc. Instead, I went upstairs and had a quite moment in my bedroom, went back down and took my aggression out on the shovel and the packed snow.

Really, I wish I were a more patient person. I feel like I have become a different person, patience-wise, now that I am a teacher, though sometimes I let things get to me that shouldn't. Honestly, I wish I were two people. Then I would be able to feel like I'm more efficient and I'm not being sloppy at some of the things I do. For a twelve hour day to be normal (and no, I'm not counting drive time...) I don't know.

How do I become more patient?

The semester is over soon. I keep the same students, more or less, but there's a shuffle and my rough hour moves to earlier in the day. I have a lot of hope for next semester. My biggest hope is that I make it through. :)

PS: We picked a musical. The hills are alive...

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