Just returned home after a few days away, and was greeted by an inbox filled with queries from students who apparently don’t appreciate the sanctity of Easter. Among the notes is a polite “reminder” from Needs-a-B, who’d asked me on Thursday to email her the grade from the last test, “you know, no rush or anything, just whenever you have them marked.” Evidently she’d changed her mind; either that, or “no rush or anything” could reasonably be interpreted as “it’s not like I’m rushing you if I still haven’t heard from you by SATURDAY already.” Of course, maybe I’m just being insensitive here; after all, she really wants to know how she did!
You know, I’d really planned to age more gracefully than this, but screw it: back in MY day, our teachers graded our tests when they graded our tests, and we wouldn’t have even thought of contacting them outside of school time, let alone on a holiday weekend, if we thought that they weren’t grading our tests quickly enough. Honestly. And some of my teachers – unlike me – wouldn’t always return our tests the very day that their students got back to class, either. They’d sometimes make us wait, like, a week.
So we waited a week,and nobody died. Even though I know this deep down inside, however, and even though I know that this is no big deal – part of me still feels guilty for not arranging my four-day weekend in the way most amenable to my more anxious students’ preferences. Not so guilty, mind you, that I didn’t consider for a moment writing back to Needs-a-B, No, sorry, haven’t gotten to it yet, my whole family died in a fire this weekend and I was busy making funeral arrangements, but as soon as that’s taken care of I’ll grade your test and get back to you right away – but guilty nonetheless.
[At this point, my mom, who’s reading this, is saying, “God forbid! Don’t even joke about something like that!” So I just want to take a moment to assure my mom that I would neverjoke about something like that. Oh, no: I was very serious about telling this student that my whole family had died.]
My family, of course, is alive, and I didn’t spend the weekend burying them. Nor, so far, did I spend any of it grading tests. On Thursday I realized that I could get away for the weekend, so I did. And it was lovely. I highly recommend small, remote islands for relaxation.
More about that-all sometime this week, after I’m done doing all of the work (grade 50 tests; grade 50 quizzes (done!); set test; plan classes) that I actually need to get done this weekend. I’d started describing my holiday in this space, but the visit to the tiny island deserves a snark-free post of its own, and so it will get it. (The description of how phone psychics work – told to me firsthand by the brother of the brother-in-law of Josie the (Late) Phone Psychic from Quebec! – also deserves its own post, but for that one, I shall permit myself some snark.
Honestly, it’s a doozy: it’s a lot more sophisticated than the “oh, they just say sufficiently general stuff that could be true of anyone” that I’d originally believed.) Not putting a timeline on any of this, mind you; in the next four weeks I have two tests and two and a half exams to set; 100+ tests, 150+ quizzes, and 100+ exams to grade; and three comprehensive review sheets to make – so even if I weren’t into preparing classes, this space wouldn’t necessarily be my priority. If you’re looking for something to do in my absence (or, more likely, my sporadic presence), I got three words for ya: Precalculus Bingo Contest.