March 03, 2006

And this is the way I grade the papers

Yesterday, I devoted my whole morning to grading papers. And I am still puzzled as to why I did not get them done. I did not procrastinate at all. I did nothing but grade papers all morning. Well, nothing except:

1. Took a photo of my son walking out to the school bus. But that does not count as procrastination because I took it before I even got dressed. I snapped it from the bedroom window.
2. Wrote a blog post. But that hardly counts because it was short.
3. Sent a few emails. But some were to students, which means that they count as work. See, that was me being productive.
4. Cleaned the kitchen. Because I can grade faster in a clean house.
5. Made a lettuce and peanut butter sandwich. Because I cannot grade on an empty stomach.
6. Talked to my mother on the telephone. Not my fault, she called me. I can’t not talk to my mother, can I?
7. Read just a few blogs. Hardly any at all. But knowing that other bloggers are grading papers too helps me to grade. Misery loves grading!
8. Watered the plants. Because how can I grade papers when my plants look thirsty and pathetic? They are living things that must be taken care of.
9. Built a fire in the fireplace. Because I can’t grade papers if my fingers are cold.
10. Lured my husband home for sex. I mean, lunch. Yeah, he came home for lunch. Besides, I can grade faster if I have just had sex. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and all that.
11. Made popcorn. Because Pilgrim says popcorn helps her grade papers, and I believe her.
12. Made lemonade. Frozen. To go with the popcorn. It does not take much time to make frozen lemonade. It's not like I was cutting up lemons and making it from scratch.
13. Took just a few minutes to delete the hundreds of emails that pile up in my inbox. Because I can't grade papers with all those emails hanging over my head.
14. Answered some emails when I realized that I had friends who were probably waiting to hear from me. I can't grade papers when I am feeling guilty.
15. Took a very short nap on the couch. Our couch is a comfy place to nap, and I can’t grade papers when I am sleepy.
16. Stared out the window at the snow. Because soon spring will be gone, and it's important to appreciate the snow while we have it, right?
17. Listened to some music. To get me in the mood for grading papers.
18. Danced a little. To get my circulation going. Oh, I could have used this same reasoning for number 10, couldn't I have? Good circulation is very important when grading papers. Poor circulation leads to snarky comments that are not very professor-like.
19. Read comments that popped up on my blog, which led to me surfing a few blogs. Just to see what was going on in the blog community. No different than saying hello to a neighbor who might walk by. I can’t ignore the people who comment on my blog, can I?
20. Took the papers out of my backpack and found the right pen to use. It's very important to have just the right pen when I grade papers.

So like I said, I got right to the task immediately. And this left me about thirty minutes to grade papers before the school bus arrived with With-a-Why and Neighbor Girl. I still don't know where my time went.

30 comments:

will smama said...

Classic.

I of course have no idea what this procrastination thing you are talking about is but please excuse me while I read numerous blogs looking for illustrations to go with my unwritten sermon.

And yes, I am pretty sure that is what Jesus would do (you know, after he healed the sick and stuff).

Bardiac said...

Wow, my list isn't nearly as interesting, but has much the same result!

We should have a grading party! You know, we could all get on blogs, grade, then blog about what we're grading, read each others blogs about grading, and of course, respond, because we don't want our blogging friends to feel lonely grading alone or anything!

Yeah, that's the ticket!

Yankee T said...

I think these are all very important, and of course you can't grade papers when you aren't accomplishing important things. Like having, er, lunch with your spouse.

Rob Helpy-Chalk said...

Having the right ben is crucial for fair grading. I have put off grading just to go to the bookstore and buy a better pen. Except that wasn't putting things off. It was part of the grading process.

Bitty said...

This just might be my favorite blog post of any blog, of all time, forever and ever amen.

Ah, truth!

Jesse said...

Your methods of not procrastinating are way better than mine. Since most of my not-procrastinating activities involves staring into the fridge, staring at a wall. Staring at the ceiling. And moving junk mail roughly 6 inches from where it started.

DaniGirl said...

Ah, to be at home where I could procrastinate freely as you describe, instead of being trapped in the cubicle trying to appear engaged in Important Government Business while actually link surfing (with fake communication strategy open in secondary window, on which I click every time I hear footsteps approaching.)

Maybe you'll be lucky and the paper-grading fairies will pay you a visit while your back is turned, and the papers will mysteriously grade themselves...

Mona Buonanotte said...

Mona's Hierarchy of Needs has sex...er...I mean LUNCH...right at the very tippy top.

Phantom Scribbler said...

I'm still open to the childcare/grading swap mentioned over at the bar. Only my parents will be here this afternoon. If you're willing to take them as part of the deal, I'll get started immediately.

peripateticpolarbear said...

Buy a scanner, post the papers and we'll grade them as a team. I'd love to. I'm sure my music major will come in very handy! this way you can blog and grade!

jo(e) said...

Phantom: When your parents arrive, hand them train tickets to Snowstorm City, and tell them you bartered their visit. I am sure a weekend at my house would do them some good. A houseful of teenagers jamming is just what they need.

jo(e) said...

And in the meantime, I'll scan the papers and blog them, and each of you can take a bunch. We could have these done in no time at all.

cheesehead said...

Yep, will smama is right...it sounds exactly like my sermon writing process.

Except I *hardly ever* have sex in my office at the church. (snicker)

Marcia said...

LOL...Glad to know I'm not alone. Now I must get to it. Right now. :)

halloweenlover said...

I am happy to swap grading papers for writing partnership agreements. Happy happy.

My favorite is #10. Why is my husband in Atlanta? GEEZ.

Hey, my word verification is MILF. I think it is saying something about you, Jo(e).

listmaker said...

lettuce and peanut butter???

jo(e) said...

Listmaker: I'm vegan, which limits my sandwich options. Peanut butter and lettuce is actually quite good, especially if you have green olives to go with it.

Halloweenlover: Hey, I could write some partnership agreements. Which would you rather take -- my papers or Phantom's parents?

CarpeDM said...

One of the coolest things ever for me was when one of my co-workers (the hot greek guy that I had a major crush on that was also a TA) let read his students papers and check them for errors. Made me feel all important and encouraged me to read Kafka (it was on The Metamorphis). So I don't have a degree or anything but I would love to read the papers and make the snarky comments that you want to make but probably shouldn't.

Kate said...

I so loved that post. Thank you, thank you.

This is exactly why I started a support group for academic work! I can't manage to do much work alone. Lunch *cough* with your husband was an incredibly wise decision.

Phantom Scribbler said...

Ah, it wasn't so bad. Halloweenlover would have been better off picking my parents than your papers -- my parents brought new Playmobil sets. I bet your papers didn't bring any new toys.

Lisa V said...

Sounds like a usual day to me. But then I have ADD. Oh except the nooner. I still have a four year old running around. Sigh.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Peanut butter and lettuce was my former roommate's favourite sandwich. Sometimes, she'd also add a little bit of popcorn seasoning (either nacho, Tex-Mex or sour cream and onion).

And that list is a good description of how I, also, do not procrastinate from a.) class reading, b.) essay writing, and c.) marking. Except it ends with my husband getting home from work at 3:00pm, just as I'm taking everything out of my bag. And then I can't just ignore him once he's home...

negativecapability said...

Ah yes...Life=more fun than grading. (and, I think, more important in the long run - one thing I like about you is that you know this)

Sarah Sometimes said...

you mean other people procrastinate too?

Steph said...

You stole my schedule!

Well, except for #10 ~ "lunch" ... "monastery" .... might get in trouble for that one! :-Þ

susan said...

You write great posts about grading! This also sounds like my writing schedule sometimes. Like right now, I am commenting here, when I opened Firefox to search my program website for a document I want to highlight in an overhead at a conference in a few weeks.

jo(e) said...

Steph: Oh, remind me to tell you my funny sex-at-the-monastery story. (No, not like in the Mermaid's Chair ... it was with my husband. Sheesh.)

Phantom: New Playmobil sets? I could use them next time I have a bunch of papers to grade. The lack of toys in this house, now that my kids are getting old, seriously hampers my procrastination fun.

Amy said...

Still catching up over here after staying up into the wee hours Thursday to finish my grading, wondering all the while why it never *felt* like I was procrastinating during the week I carried the same set of paper everywhere I went.

I like Bardiac's idea way up there. How about a group liveblogging of paper grading someday?

Steph said...

Alright, jo(e) .... consider yourself reminded! :-)

Hmmmm .... sounds like I should read The Mermaid Chair. Can I count it as research and therefore not procrastinating? I did that with DaVinci Code, since the kids keep asking if I've read that.

academic coach said...

I'm forwarding this link to several coaching clients who have been bemoaning paper grading.

I've got to say that PB&L sounds like an unapplealing sandwich -- and when you add olives... yuck.