It’s 5:30 in the morning and I’ve already been up and grading since 3:00. I’ve been doing this for days, and I’ll probably be doing it tomorrow. Don’t feel sorry for me – I like the smell of ink in the morning, it smells like victory. Besides, in the dark early hours there is silence and good coffee.
I’ve completely blown off the blog for over a week now. The four or five of you who actually read this may not even care, but I do. I miss the writing. The laptop is shoved toward the back of the desk and turned off, for the most part, to keep me out of time-eating trouble. The typewriter is back in its case because it was the most anguishing and visible sign that I Have Other Work To Do. All distractions gone, and the papers get full attention.
And there are a great many papers.
I don’t hate grading. Once I get my reading groove on it’s absolutely fascinating to read all the hard work, the insights, the epiphanies. Sometimes the papers are badly written, but for the most part students actually care about the topics they’ve chosen and the arguments are fairly sound. I love this part of teaching even though it’s the loneliest dark-of-the-morning part of it all.
Finals are next week and I’ll be at this again. If I get lucky, there will be time this weekend to tell you about the amazing literary magazine my undergraduate students just published and the awards they’ve earned. Stunning work.
There. I’ve given you the only fifteen minutes I’ll have for a bit. Back to the essays.