Friday, November 26, 2010

Breaking the Law, Willfully and on Purpose

I'm breaking the law today. Right now, I'm taking a break from lawbreaking.

You see, my state has declared that all state workers have to take furloughs, and has mandated this day as a furlough day for most of us (except those who are necessary to keep the state going). That means we're not supposed to do anything related to work today. Nothing. Nada.

But, of course, I have a boatload of grading to get done. The grading either has to be done now or at a different time. If we faculty folks had good sense, then we'd figure out a way to require 3 point something percent less work from our students, so we'd have 3 point something percent less grading. But I'm not that smart.

The thing is, I create assignments that I think and hope will help my students learn; I don't make students do things just to torture them or because I like grading hell. So I don't know how to reduce what I require in a meaningful way.

I'm at my sibling's; as a family, on holiday times, we tend to make slow starts. And it's cold outside (but not snowy), so it's not inviting me out to play. And I haven't managed to convince anyone else to go out and play, either. So it's either nap, or watch TV, or read, and as long as I'm reading, I may as well be grading.

So far, the count for the four day break is:

4 research papers from the writing course
most of the prep for a thesis defense (for which I'm second reader)

I have so much to do that I can't bring myself to make a list, but if I can make progress today, maybe tomorrow I can bring myself to make a list.

Meanwhile, if anyone cares to come arrest me so that I don't willfully work, please do.

I hope everyone had a safe and happy Thanksgiving, and wish you lovely leftovers today! (I love leftover turkey sandwiches even more than I love eating turkey on Thanksgiving.)


  1. Think of yourself as a modern Jesse James, sticking it to The Man. I'll bet that makes grading the papers easier :).

  2. maybe you are supposed to apply 3% less quality to the grading? but it might be that margin of quality that keeps you from writing "OMFG, did you even think about this?" in certain hypothetical instances, seeing how the more measured and appropriate response takes more time and thought.

    happy leftovers!

  3. I declare a citizen's arrest. If I were close enough to enforce it, I would. Whoever comes up with these furlough ideas has never spent a single day as a teacher. It's ridiculous.