You’re making a pot of coffee to fuel your evening grading marathon, and you pour your freshly ground beans straight into your coffee cup, instead of into your French press. . . and then seriously contemplate somehow eating the grounds straight.
With four weeks to go before finals week, I am delirious with fatigue. This three-prep, five-day-a-week teaching schedule is kicking my ass. It’s not the work per se, but the face time, which can really get to an introvert.
But then it is the work, as well. My marathon tonight involves essay exams for my bullshit gen-ed course, an offering my department has precipitously palmed off onto contingent labor: VAPs, adjuncts, graduate students. (I call it a “bullshit course” because the enrollment is too large to make assigning formal papers feasible, so I have to settle for essay exams and regular reading responses in what is allegedly a course in English lit.) But, yeah.
Way to go, JPU. Way to show we care about gen ed. So, unlike the overworked VAPs, adjuncts, and grad students, whose jobs aren’t nearly so cushy, I split the grading evenly with my TAs, not least so I know what the students’ strengths and needs are. Boy howdy are there needs. And boy howdy is the setup of this course ill suited to meeting those needs. While I am proud of what I’ve gotten most of these students to accomplish, there is also an alarming proportion of them who have disappeared from the class, but not from my roster, taking their Fs just to stay eligible for student loans. Most often these young people leave without a degree, less likely to be able to pay off those loans, which, through the magic of compound interest, do not stop bloating, and can be discharged only in death.
I guess I’m not the only one who’s spent. But I don’t know what this post is about. I’m exhausted. I wanted to say “hey” to the internets. And I’ll get back to grading now.