Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Nitty Gritty

I hate it when I have a weekend that didn't get much done on the to-list, and yet didn't feel very relaxing either. Plus, I am in the weird state of being both done and not done with everything this evening.

Today at least I got the catbox cleaned. And the kitchen floor was gritty; you know that means I have to deal with it. So I did. And a lot of cooking so I have leftovers to bring in all week. Yesterday I only did half of a job application and then pissed the rest of the day away on class prep for my Fruit Studies course. I have been doing pretty well at not allowing myself to prep the Fruit or Stripey classes at all, only going off of last semester, and that really helps free up time for grading. Although it doesn't really make my life feel any better, since then I'm grading all the time. But prepping a lecture or a powerpoint show can really eat up the time, and feels productive and fun.

I got comp papers on Friday and you know I should have graded like a fiend on them all weekend. Instead I haven't started them. That's what I mean about this evening: I have done a lot of little stuff on the to-do list but there's no way I'm going to start tackling a pile of essays at 10pm. Which means I tidied everything and picked out clothes for tomorrow and packed a lunch just like I am sending a sex year old off to school instead of myself --- no, wait, that's not all that different really --- and now I am taking a moment to blog.

The nice thing about the week before an essay is due, if you are like me, is that you have students doing peer review days and revision days and you have handouts and slides that you think work really well and only require updating the due dates and making copies. You don't get any paper that week and can spend the in class time catching up on other classes' quizzes and the out-of-class time on other class assignments. Then you suddenly realize that on Monday, you're going to have to start teaching again, and you look at your syllabus and are confused by the motley readings. WTH do these have to do with each other? you think to yourself. What am I going to do in class on those days? And how the hell will I get this into a new essay sequence?

So instead of grading I have been writing a prompt for essay 2 and planning out all the stuff we will work on in class, moving backwards from what the prompt says and backwards across the calendar. I don't know if that's the best way to do it, but I like planning backwards this way. Today I waffled back and forth on the types of in-class writing I would have them do and whether or not I would collect it ---- holy cats am I going to be collecting a lot of homework paragraphs and in class paragraphs from them! Argh.

On the other hand, I think I have all of next week for comp planned out. Now I just have to really discipline myself to grade grade grade those essays and peer reviews all week to make up for the slacking this weekend. Except it wasn't slacking so much as trying to make sure the next essay is doable and will not cause me to commit hara-kiri. Which really is a possibility when I go into the class and try to wing it or write an essay prompt at the last minute and then discover that it inspired extra sucky papers.

Oh, and I entered grades from the latest batch of Stripey quizzes ---- lots and lots of zeros and 1s out of five questions. Some ok ones that clearly read. I will be taking a moment to remind them of the existence of the midterm and to nag them about keeping up on the reading. I don't know if it is resistance to the topic or not enough quizzes smacking them across the ass but the Stripey students are not in the game yet compared to my comp students. They are also very sullen and bored looking. let the nagging begin, I guess. At least blank and obviously-wrong quizzes don't take long to grade.

Ok, I guess now it is time to sleep.

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