Friday, December 14, 2007

Time to Relax!

Yep, all done! I'm hopping in my Porsche and heading for the mall, where I'll buy many pairs of death stilletos so that I can properly stomp all those in my way. Then I'll buy a couple new big screen TVs for the viewing rooms and watch some first run movies in the privacy of my own home, while groups of buff young people, all scantily clad, shovel snow in my yard into artful patterns. Then off to Vegas, where I'll hobnob with the divine Miss M in the high rollers' rooms.

Okay, not really. That's a fantasy. What's scary, is that it's someone else's fantasy.

Alas, I'm not done. I have three massive stacks of grading staring at me right now.

Porsches are nice to look at, but my all wheel drive wagon carries stuff really well.

Anyone who knows me would be laughing at the death stilletos; if there's death involved in my shoes, it's from me tripping over the laces. I have vices, but they don't involve heels.

And while I do have a television, it's only a big screen if you're a bug being squashed against it.

And while I wouldn't mind if anyone cleared the excess snow off my drive, that anyone will be me, and I'm not buff, nor do I plan to be scantily clad while I dig. There will be no artful patterns involved, unless I trip on my laces and decide to make a snow angel while I'm down there.

And finally, while I think Bette Midler would be lots of fun, I can't imagine a worse much nightmare place than Vegas (unless it involves CIA questioning), nor anything that would be less fun than hanging out in a high roller room, especially if it involved hazarding what money I have. I've been to Vegas twice, once for a pilgrimage to the rotating bar where Dr. Gonzo got the fear, followed promptly by an early morning escape to the desert where my friend and I saw a big horn sheep!!!!!!! (The ONLY reason to go to that area is beautiful desert wildlife and such. Early morning works best.) The second time involved the co-pilot seat in a small jet, a single keno ticket, and going to a movie for the rest of the afternoon. We flew over Mt. Whitney (the highest point in CA) and the part of Death Valley that's the lowest point in CA.

My personal fantasies right now involve temperatures above freezing, hot cocoa, and well-written papers that are interesting and exciting. If I get two of three, I'll be a pretty happy person.

Here's the hope: We did proofreading exercises before students handed in their final essays. So things were relaxed, pretty much. And here's what students had to say (paraphrased from memory):

"This is the best paper I've ever written."

"My roommate just started her [writing class] paper on Monday, and I told her she was nuts! I'd finished my draft a week before she even started!"

"I'm going to start my paper for Monday now."

"This was the least stressful term paper I've written. And it's good."

"I had a nightmare about bibliographies!"

"I always work to deadlines and procrastinate, but I this time the deadline was early, so even though I procrastinated, I had time to work more."

In all my classes, I've taken the whole writing process thing really seriously, and built in question forming and research stages, and set up peer revision. When I looked at the drafts for peer revision in one of my classes, they were about half done as drafts. Still, that's half done over a week before the paper's due, and not the night before the paper's due. So I have high hopes for my students' papers this term. In my real fantasy, the students write wonderful papers.

If they do, I'll totally credit myself for being a great teacher. That's the way fantasy works.


  1. Here's hoping that at least some of that fantasy makes it into reality...

  2. Oh, Bardiac! I wish I had had you as my professor when I minored in English in college. Though in all reality, you may not have even been born yet...but that's the great thing about fantasy, it doesn't have to fit reality.

  3. I hope I never sounded like that, Professor Bardiac. I hope your fantasy becomes realized.

  4. Kermit, thanks :) So far, good papers!

    Tundra PA, aww, thanks :) Don't make any bets on the age thing!

    Liz, Most of my students are wonderful folks, a joy to work with, even in tough times. You too :) The fantasy is working pretty well so far: hot tea and good papers! Thanks.

  5. I have to go to Vegas (a busines trip) in the not too distant future, and I am not looking forward to it. I'm glad to know I'm not the only person on the planet for whom Vegas holds no thrill.

  6. Coffee-drinking woman, If you can get a car, take an EARLY morning ride out to the desert. It's beautiful!

  7. When I read the first paragraph of this post, I thought "someone's hijacked Bardiac's blog!" What a relief to know that isn't the case!

    I am, as requested, finally back. That's the goodish news. The bad news, I meme-tagged you.

  8. I liked your fantasy. :)

    I tested out of English composition, but I think I would have enjoyed taking your class. :)

  9. Anonymous7:43 AM

    Oh, it sounds like that would have been very useful, and helpful to your students.

    I just finished writing quite a large paper. We had multiple drafts required, and peer review (though several people DIDN'T DO their reviews of papers, so I never got feedback from whoever my student was, grrrrrr. I bothered with it why?)

    It was helpful. Even more helpful was that even though I was behind throughout, with only partly-finished drafts, the prof was encouraging and not scoldy about it.

    I finished! And, like your student, I think it's the best paper I've yet written.

  10. Great post!Sending warm wishes to the Northwoods!