Sunday, December 13, 2009

It all comes to nothing

Okay, the title is too strong, perhaps, but I'm annoyed anyway: I have a chest cold that's migrating into my head, despite all my careful attempts to avoid illness at this oh-so-critical period of career prep.  Writing a blog entry is a merciful release for me at the moment, since my throat is so sore and mucus-ridden that I can barely croak, much less talk.  I think I'm approaching overdose levels of echinacea tea; I'm already down to my last bag.  I'd love to make myself some soup -- I've even made my grandmother's recipe for chicken soup before -- but I feel too lousy to hazard getting bundled up to go to the supermarket.

The timing is, of course, brilliant, since I not only have the continuing whirlwind of job applications to crank out, but end-of-semester grading as well.  I blew off my students' papers all week, because I just couldn't bear the thought of reading their banal ideas in their insipid prose when I could be doing something more important to my career advancement.  (There, I said it.)  This, naturally, has now bitten me in the ass, since I need to get them all graded by tomorrow so that the primary instructor can submit final grades.  There's no fucking way I can do all of this tonight and still finish the postdoc app I'm working on; I'll have to spend an indefinite number of hours tomorrow poring over the papers, after I submit the postdoc.

I should explain that being ill does nothing positive for my outlook, which is why I feel particularly snippy toward the students papers as a drag on my time.  Really, they could be worse, in the sense that the assignment itself is highly personalized: they had to do some research on their own families, and explain this, that and the other thing about them.  It's kind of hard to screw that up, though lord knows some of them will manage.  In general, I imagine that almost all of them will end up with something in the A range; it's not like I can go back to the sources and say they misheard what Grandma told them.  I'm expecting/fearing that a few of my most slack-inclined students will have treated this as yet another paper to bang out three hours before deadline, which means that I'll have to wade through pages of nonsense, written incoherently, until I can establish which grade the paper merits.  So far, though, it's been much better than the first paper they had to write.  That one was agonizing to plow through.

I could go on whining about the length of the research proposal this fellowship wants, but I doubt anyone wants to hear it; hell, I don't want to hear it.  I should just buckle down and figure out how to say more without going off-topic. Sigh.

No comments:

Post a Comment