First of all, congratulations to all our new Ph.Ds! Hooray for everyone who graduated today, especially you, and you, and you, and you, who all don't read my blog! ---- You'll feel the well-wishes and good karma wafting your way anyway. You all rock, as do all you graduates, and I hope you may have wonderful things come your way in the coming year. You are all invited to my graduation party next year (keep in mind that those might be Biblical years, which I believe are measured in millennia). And may everyone have funny hats in their future! (really, regardless of whether you are in a grad program or not, funny hats are a good thing.)
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And now, some self-indulgent complainery, if I may:
What idiot decided to put about 4 end-of-the-year parties _and_ the class norming session all on the same day? And then follow it with two days of graduation ceremony mayhem? And make me designated driver for all of them? Seriously, I like people but I am so done with being social right now. And I could not skip any of those parties as they are vital sources of gossip, which is as necessary to me as a fourth food group. The norming session did involve a dinner (tho' I could complain about all the crap I've eaten this past week ---- ugh and I've been throwing money around like water, what with grading in coffeeshops and getting little stuff for parties and graduates), but it was not supposed to involve actual hours and hours of norming! And we were supposed to bring already graded material to exchange ---- I'm looking at you, grad student, who I harbor suspicions of trying to get us to determine as many grades for you as possible. I was not faking the headache that finally got us out of there, I might add; I went to bed at ten and had to stay in bed most of the next day before that cleared up. Which means that I still have a cubic crapload of finals to grade and the course grades to determine. Augggghhh!
Yes, I would like to be done and get back to my work. I would like my clothes to fit again. I would like to spend more than an hour at home one day this next week and not have to worry about going out. I would like to not have to navigate directions to your place to pick you up at the same time as dodging aggressive traffic. And most importantly, I would like to be done and lecturing right now rather than taking another year to finish off these last couple chapters. One of the grads was from my cohort, but came in without a Master's. Sigh. Not to mention that the featured speaker got her undergrad degree in 2000, took a couple years off, and then just graduated with a degree in epidemiology-micro-psych- neuro-clinic-venti-something-or-other after starting here in '03. Double sigh.
Ah well. Someday I shall be king and payback will be mine! Heads will roll. And you better bet I will look snazzy while I'm doing it. Hats from the Silly Hat Tarot Deck here.
Hee, hee..."biblical years"
What's a norming session?
Well, when you have a large lecture with several different TAs, you often have a norming session after each assignment where everyone compares grade breakdowns and shares "representative" As, Bs, Cs, complete fails, etc.
They provide continuity and fairness across sections, and they're helpful for new TAs who haven't had the experience of seeing lots of graded samples. Old 'n crusty TAs try to avoid them or have them run as short as possible. Newbiegrad really wanted one, but hadn't started any grading yet. And attacked my students for being bad spellers while trying to get his/her own students passed without an argument or even a cogent summary of the lecture.
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