Friday, November 02, 2007


When I left my office on Wednesday night, I was in pretty good shape grading-wise. I had graded everything for one class, and had one small stack for another class, and two small stacks for the third. I'd prepared to give midterm grade information for my first year students, as required. (It doesn't sound as good as it felt.)

Now, as Friday afternoon hits, I'm once again overwhelmed. I had more students come for revision conferences on Thursday than I expected, and so didn't get much grading done through the day. And I got more stuff from the one "finished" class yesterday and today, so I'm buried for the weekend.

I'm trying to finish one stack of grading now, and I'm about half-way through. Actually, I know exactly how far through I am, to the precise number. It's that bad.

There comes a time in a stack (well, maybe not in fast stacks), when I start counting: how many have I done? How many do I still have?

Once I start counting in a given stack, my concentration level goes down a bit, so my productivity goes down. And then I have to decide to either power through or take a break. Guess which won today?

Enough break. Back to the grind so I can leave this one stack on my desk, graded and recorded!


  1. I count from the beginning. I also set my watch to go off every 5 or 10 or 12 minutes depending on what I expect the paper to take. Keeps me focused even if I just turn it off and continue with the same paper.

    Lots of power breaks lately. Turns out I'm sick. Finally stayed home today. Still some grading to do.

    Have a good weekend.

  2. I do these little mental tricks, to make it seem like I don't have to grade as much: like, "Well, I only have to do 5 a day. Five papers is hardly anything. I can certainly grade five." And then that self-delusion goes on for a week.