It’s gotten to be that there’s so much end of term marking every December that I can no longer summon the energy to panic. I just mark as best I can, call it a day sometime around eleven at night and then get up too early in the morning to get the kids out the door before starting all over again.
Rubrics help: reducing my grading comments to focused feedback on the thesis and argumentation, the use of evidence, the proficiency of expression, etc. I’m telling students that if they want more detailed feedback, they’re encouraged to schedule a meeting or come by in office hours. Since so many students never pick up their final papers, I’ve finally realized that it’s a waste of my time to pour over all of the essays with a granular level of editing commentary.
So I’m in a zen state of marking as much as I can but not stressing too much about how much isn’t done. However, I’m not doing too much else that isn’t marking. I’m not watching TV (my DVR contains weeks of the one drama I would like to watch), reading any of my leisure books or I’ve only spent three hours (absolutely mandatory) on my own research in the past two weeks. I’m more than a little bit resentful about social obligations and meetings eating into my marking time, mind you – can’t we get together AFTER markings all done? But if you wonder why this blog is so quiet, my confinement to grading jail is a big part of that.