I know that title is grammatically incorrect. Deal with it. It’s for a theme.
I’m farther off base on my challenges than I’d like. I’ve spent nearly 3 straight days doing nothing but grading, grading, grading. I had NO idea it was so difficult to read a syllabus and find out when your final exam was, nor how difficult it was for students to submit a link to a web page via Blackboard.
I’ll stop ranting about that and commence whining now.
At the end of every semester, teachers get just as swamped as students. Students feel stressed because they have final exams in every class. Like, 5 of them! Teachers feel stressed because our Universities often have ridiculous policies such as “thou shalt submit thy final grades within 24 (or 48) hours of the final exam.” Dear Mr. Dean/President/WHOEVER: I have 400 students. My final exams have essay questions because it’s important. I have hundreds of blankity-blank emails coming in. That is NOT a reasonable timeframe for the faculty! We feel stressed, we feel pressured, we stay up all night and grade all day and all night in a desperate attempt to handle this mess. We cry, have w(h)ine, cry some more, and secretly scream our frustrations. Okay, in my case, not so secretly.
My lifestyle for the last several days has been the antithesis of healthy. What’s a vegetable?! This exercise thing? What’s that painfully bright thing in the sky? Food has been what’s available: read as leftover Chinese delivery, cookies, microwave popcorn, anything I don’t have to cook because I don’t have time. Add in the departmental and college parties that I don’t have time to attend because of the grading and I start feeling like I should ask Santa for a punching bag for Christmas.
I’m taking a few minutes to write because I desperately need a break today. I’m feeling burned out and I’m not done. I got in a 20 minute walk today and really truly did feel vaguely surprised by the SUN. I’m going to try to fix a healthier dinner and do my planned workout. During my Digital Imaging class I’m going to do my Healthy Moments coloring challenge for the day (see?!).
Sometimes, you have to manage life. Sometimes all you can do is desperately hang on and try to survive. I’m more in the survival camp right now. Add on to this: experiments, textbook reviews, car needing repair, departmental evaluations and surveys, surveys, surveys, holiday parties… I’m an INTROVERT. I want to crawl in a really dark hole and stay there. Can I have that for Christmas?!
For those who need gift ideas for end-of-term faculty, I recommend the following:
- punching bag (because we can’t vent our frustrations on our students/administrators)
- wine (in which to drown our sorrows and with which we become slightly more generous graders)
- red pens (because we’ve probably used up all the ink in our existing ones)
- Xanax (see above reference for wine)
- Dinner & laundry service (because we ain’t got time for dat right now)
- a shoulder to cry on/someone to vent at (we don’t hate you, really we don’t)
- fuzzy socks
- Your complete understanding that we will, in fact, revert to being normal, sane humans a week or so after this ends. It takes a bit to resolve the trauma and recuperate.
PS: Not sure if the coloring helped me relax or if it was the combination of beer, Xanax, and coloring. I am not visually artistically skilled and I haven’t colored in a long, long time. It’s also a tad harder to do it on the computer, even with a good N-Trig stylus on a Surface Pro 3.