Wednesday, May 7, 2008

On the lam from the grading police

Allright, I slaved at the coffee shop this morning, grading, hit my caffeine overload, and came home to burn it off on some dishes and lunch. Then I pounded out another good hour and a half on grading away at stuff. Shit, I feel like I deserve to take me a break.

Unfortunately, the stack of essays to be graded is still HUGE. And I haven't even been able to get to work on my dissertation yet this week, and only fitfully put in time on Impending Conference Paper of Doom. Aigh!

I am so far behind on my shit that even working productively on it makes me get further behind. Sigh. It's making me waver between freezing up completely in terror and shrugging, chucking it all up and walking away from it. In spots like this, something has to just give way, but I gave up my sanity ages ago, you know? And giving up sleep just doesn't help in any productive sort of fashion for me.

I'm thinking that cloning myself is the only option. How else will I get through all the things I need to get through? I'm not even dealing with any of the graduation or get-a-job to do lists at the moment!

(yes, cloning myself will solve allllll my problems...)

Oh, and I'm still hating all you people who are finishing up your semesters ---- Thphpththtpthtphh! I don't actually know how to spell that, I just realized. Never mind --- reading these essays is slowly destroying my ability to spell anything. The "its" vs "it's" rule is already erased from my brain and currently one last brain cell is fighting a losing battle against "student's in the classroom are"-type crap.

Back to graduating nonsense, did I tell you my advisor will now not be there at the ceremony to hood me? You know, to award the degree? I mention that to clarify, because I was grousing about it to Cool Scientist Friend and The Political Animal, and they a) had no clue what that meant (though they made plenty of sexual puns about "hoods") and b) didn't care. What's the big deal if your advisor is there or not at graduation? I only see mine once a year, as they put it. Yeah, well, fine. I'll just sit here and throw a pity-party for myself if you won't join in.

It bugs me because a) my advisor promised to be there back when we laid out the timeline of deadlines for graduating and b) then got tickets to fly out of the country and didn't even tell me about it. I had to find out about this from a random graduate student and then only got confirmation later from Spouse of My Advisor, who is also known on this blog as Not My Advisor. Grr.

Since there are important conferences that run into our academic calendar (back to the people on the semester system: Ththththththhtpththp!), I know that Advisor has often skipped out on hooding the doctoral students. But not always, and so I'm feeling grumpy and slighted, because some people got to be hooded and introduced Advisor to family and got to hear Advisor tell everyone how brilliant of grad students they were, and others, like me, didn't. Or don't. Or whatever ---- I'm just annoyed, you know? Not that there is anything wrong with Professor Second Fiddle, who I wouldn't want to think of him/herself as a second fiddle and all that, but let's just say I am very over-invested in the ceremonial part of this ceremony. Not quite Bridezilla-level control freak over it ... yet ... but I do have certain ideas about how the day should go and what should happen. Remember, our dept. --- I think the whole school --- does not do doctoral defenses, so I'm considering this as my closure moment and big ritual of celebration.

(I had tried talking people into creating a "walking to the filing office" ceremony, which would involve crowd-lined streets tossing rose petals and cheering and singing victory songs as I carried the box of dissertation materials, wearing a crown and ermine-lined cape, to be carried back to the bars on the shoulders of the adoring crowd afterwards, but for some reason this ritual didn't get traction on our campus. Too bad, as I was just getting started fleshing out the songs and speeches, too.)

Anyway, everything is hectic and grumpy-making over here, with lots of work and no time to brood over graduation crap (or even plan it --- I think I have tons of paperwork to do to get Dr. Second Fiddle's name rather than Advisor's announced at the ceremony at this late date). I blame Society. After all, its what my student's are all arguing.


Fretful Porpentine said...

If it's any comfort, my advisor wasn't around for the hooding ceremony either (and neither were the advisors of at least a quarter of the other students who graduated with me, so it's very very common indeed).

And shh, don't talk about grading. I've almost started.

kfluff said...

Hmmm. Stupid advisor. I didn't actually go to graduation, and thus didn't have to negotiate with Z., but it wouldn't have surprised me at all if he flaked out. I love your idea of the filing walk ceremony, but if that can't happen, are there other ways that you can get advisor (or anyone else in the tri-state area) to engage in some other form of celebration? (Depending on your relationship with advisor, is there room for a "if you're not going to hood me, then you owe me a beer"?) Perhaps I'm shooting the moon here...

medieval woman said...

Urgh - I'm sorry, Sis. Having so much grading turns everything into shit. And I'm sorry your advisor won't be there to hood you - but you ARE getting hooded! Yay for you!

I didn't get hooded by advisor either, just some random Admin flunky who hooded all of us (we had our Ph.D. ceremony all together - there were only about 175 of us at the whole uni). We walked onstage, shook the Dean of the Graduate School's hand (or hugged - she was a medievalist!), walked center stage, got spun around to face the audience, hooded, walk stage left, shook hands/got diploma, walked ofstage to the sound of my father screaming "Hold it! Hold it right there!!!"


Bardiac said...

I'm sorry to hear about your advisor not being there, especially since s/he'd said s/he would be. (I only ever heard of my advisor going to one hooding ceremony, for the student we all figured he was having an affair with.)

But I LOVE your idea of a big ceremony for turning the dissertation into the office thing! There could be one of those big paper signs and you could go through it once you hand in your dissertation!

Flavia said...

Yeah, my advisor wasn't there at my graduation, either--and neither did she have (or even make up) any excuse.

But really, that was the least of it.

Still, I'm sorry that you won't have yours. . .

Belle said...

Your advisor sucks. Seriously. I was astonished that I was the first one to ask my mentor to hood a graduating PhD. He was tickled pink; it was the first time he'd been able to wear his own fancy academic regalia (Oxford...). His other students, I can only assume, were reluctant to include him. Odd.

But really, your advisor? Sucks. So do the piles of grading.

Sisyphus said...

Thanks everybody! I hear you, a lot of people don't get hooded by their advisors, or even walk in graduation, but dammit, I had my plans for her to beam admiringly at me and for me to finally get my moment of public recognition!

Earnest English said...

Let me know when you are actually filing the dissertation (which I found to be more of a circuit of going to five different offices, each one more ridiculous than the last, so that I could end up at the one I started with -- granted, with a piece of paper filled out -- yay!), and I will toss rose petals. I remember it was so anticlimactic that I wanted to go up to random students on campus and say: I just turned in my dissertation. HA! 200 pages. Done. Complete with typos. HA! So let me know and I'll make an emergency run up there.