The motto

One thing that got me through the last 18 exams or so was Professor Z‘s dictum (recently quoted by Jonathan at Stupid Motivational Tricks):

It is draining to do things poorly and energizing to do things well.

When I found myself dragging my feet on starting the next exam, I’d take a short change-of-scenery break, maybe just going into the kitchen for a glass of water.  And then I’d conjure up the face of the student whose exam I was about to read.  “Oh, hello, Ben!  What have you got for me?” I’d say.  And I’d open the exam to the essay section.  Just telling myself that I was going to do it well and be energized by it seemed to go a long way.  And it helped to recognize that opening an exam grudgingly, wishing I didn’t have to grade it, would be draining and so I wasn’t going to do it that way.

There was a certain amount of fake-it-’til-you-make-it involved, of course–I mean, I had 58 students and 41 of them wrote two essays, so that was 99 essays, and I wasn’t genuinely thrilled to be reading every single one–but faking it does, in fact, often lead to making it.

And I made it.

On to second semester!


2 responses to this post.

  1. Congrats! And happy Spring Semester to you!


  2. Thanks, Bardiac!


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