Archive for January 17th, 2013

Afternoon of an author

This makes two afternoons in a row that I’ve napped.  I’m not normally much of a napper–often, when I’m tired, I just can’t turn off the anxious hamsterbrain, and I lie there ruminating until I give up and get out of bed.

Today and yesterday, though–home from proctoring and grading exams, and whump.  Today I slept past sundown.  I don’t know exactly what’s up–maybe I’m fighting off a bug.  Maybe I’m just tired.  Maybe all the emotional energy at school.

The Snork Maiden, meanwhile, studied for her last exam (Chinese), made herself some dinner, and was watching a movie by the time I got up.  Sometimes it really is like having a thirteen-year-old roommate.

I got a fair amount done in the morning, but nothing after 12 p.m.  Still haven’t completed the Fussy Professional Task.  I would really like to have it done–that would feel so good!  I think that might be my job for the rest of the evening–I assume I’ll be up for a while, since I did sleep for three or four hours this afternoon.  Then I can email it off and it will be waiting when its recipient gets into the office in the morning.

Tomorrow I’m proctoring in someone else’s room, so what I need to do is:

  1. Before the exam: Write for 12 minutes–I should be able to do this, as we’re planning to arrive early.  Set up the room, including my laptop for e-gradebook access.  Put quarter grades on the exams for ease of computing semester grades when exams are done.  Put manuscript in the outgoing mail.  (It’s a small convenience that I really appreciate–the shipping/receiving person at school will weigh and mail personal envelopes and packages for us, and she’ll leave me a little slip that tells me what I owe.)
  2. Grading goal for during the exam: Seven exams.  These are going slowly at first, and in my experience, the language exams don’t usually take the entire exam period (unlike, say, the math exams–the entire calculus class I proctored today worked up until the very last minute).  So the last 30-50 minutes of the exam period will probably require me to loom over the students who have finished so that they aren’t distracting the ones who haven’t.  I will be lucky to get 80 focused minutes of grading, and that may not be enough for seven exams at this stage.
  3. After the exam: My mom is picking up the Snork Maiden, so finish that section (my medium one) and prep the other exams to grade over the weekend.  Gather materials for prepping actual classes.  Copy handouts for Tuesday morning.

Dr. Tea has sent me all kinds of wonderful planning documents for the junior class I’m starting Wednesday, but of course I still need to prep my own class meetings.  I think we’re slated to begin with short fiction and poetry, but for some reason Romola did some Whitman and Dickinson with them first semester, so we may be a little out of step at first.

Between planets

It’s a weird week.  I am feeling not entirely well, but not entirely sick.  Exams are intense, but after the first day there’s only one exam per day for most people, so the afternoons are unstructured–some kids go home, some kids hang around, the faculty are unpredictable.  (I brought the Snork Maiden home at lunch, after which I took a nap, and then got up to take her to the orthodontist.)  I graded five of my senior exams, but I’m procrastinating on finishing that class and getting on to the juniors.

I didn’t watch Downton Abbey on Monday, so I want to do it tonight–and what I really want to do before that is finish the senior exams so I can have that class done.  My grades are at school (electronic gradebook program), so I’d still have to compute their final grades tomorrow.

Tomorrow I would like to:

  1. At home in the morning: Write for 12 minutes.  Send out to a new magazine the submission that got returned today.
  2. At school, before proctoring:  Set up the room.  Score the multiple choice sections for my juniors.  Print a copy of my ms. to send out.
  3. While proctoring: Compute the senior grades (if I finish essays tonight).  Grade exams for my smallest section of juniors (11 exams, 22 essays–wait, is that reasonable?  No, probably not.  The first few will take the longest.  Five might be reasonable).  Spend 10 minutes on the Fussy Professional Task that is still not done.
  4. At home, after proctoring: Finally complete the Fussy Professional Task.  Finish the smallest section of juniors (six more exams).  Write comments to one more NLNRU student.  Ask if my mom can pick up the Snork Maiden after her last exam on Friday so I can get some more grading done at school–and some prepping for the new semester.

The new semester doesn’t usually mean a lot since nearly all our classes are year-long.  As I think I’ve mentioned, though, with the ending of my one-semester senior class, I am also picking up a second-semester class, this one a yearlong American literature survey for juniors–the “regular” juniors, meaning those not in AP.  Romola taught the first half, and the same group will be continuing with me.  This will be interesting–they are already formed as a group, and I’ll be the newcomer.   Something to think about–how to come into this situation.