The semester is finally over. I've collected all of the last assignments, and now I must grade them. This is what my weekend will look like:

Portfolios, Final Papers, Accepted Late Work
I suppose it's not so bad. I mean, at least I can't accept anything else at this point. I'VE LEFT THE OFFICE. I'M NOT GOING BACK UNTIL AFTER THE NEW YEAR. 

I'm so tired!

But yesterday was actually kind of fun, in that I was able to say goodbye to a couple of students who I'm particularly fond of, and wish them well. One had the spectacular news that he's being scouted by Villanova FOR AN ACADEMIC SCHOLARSHIP (Who knew they scouted for academics? I didn't. But knowing it now makes me feel better about the world, somehow.)

And I received a lovely thank you card from a student for whom I wrote a letter of recommendation back in November, and a couple of students said in a non-ass-kissy way that they enjoyed their class. Another student hand-wrote a little note thanking me for accepting late work, and caring about his grade in the course. I'm sharing this stuff not to brag, but to record -- so I can remember, in the months after this when my brain begins to melt from postpartum hormones and general craziness, and in the months when I return to teaching and feel depressed and generally overwhelmed -- that while teaching at a community college can be really frustrating sometimes, because you often teach students who are unprepared, and unmotivated, and unwilling to do real, rigorous, intellectual work (and worse yet  -- unwilling to do work period, let alone intellectual work), there are semesters like this one, where you realize that there are a handful of students out there who care, who were paying attention, who were actually learning, who appreciated what you taught them, and who came away from their experience in your class with a greater appreciation for writing, or literature, or ideas, or maybe (maybe!) all three.

Damn. That was a long sentence. Did I mention that I teach writing?

Today A.P. and I shall celebrate the end of the semester with a poetry exchange & conversation at the diner, and then I'll head to the stores to do some last minute gift shopping while the kids are still in school. I weighed the two evils of this weekend against one another, "shopping with the kids on the last Saturday before Christmas" v.s. "attempting to grade with the kids running around the house two days before final grades are due," and the latter seemed the lesser of two evils. So I'm going to use my last few precious hours of alone time for securing last-minute gifts, and tomorrow I shall play referee to the kids' bickering and squalling as we all stay home-bound, and I attempt to grade approximately 70 student papers, 25 final portfolios, and a smattering of accepted late assignments.

Mr. He's-So-Bad-He's-Lucky-He's-Cute. And The Boy's Right Foot.
In news that is NOT related to school or grading, this week has also featured proofreading of the galleys my sister, the talented M.K., created for the chapbook. I know I'm biased in so many ways, but I think the chapbook is going to be beautiful, despite the poems within it! (Har, har, har.) Margaret Bashaar (editor of Hyacinth Girl Press) said there's a chance the chapbook will be ready by January 29, which is the date of the HGP/Boog City Reading at the Sidewalk Cafe in NYC. Oh, did I mention the reading on this blog already? I THINK I'M A LITTLE EXCITED ABOUT THE READING. AND ABOUT THE CHAPBOOK. If my heart had cockles, I'd say this kind of thing warms them. It's a lovely little bit of affirmation to have someone think your writing is worthy of publishing, and it's just as flattering when people actually take a seat and voluntarily listen to you read that writing.

So that's where I'll leave you for now -- I'll stop shouting at my blog readers in all caps, and concentrate my efforts on yelling at Sir New Guy, WHO KEEPS JUMPING UP ON KITCHEN COUNTERS AND EATING WHAT HE FINDS, LIKE THE BISCUITS I MADE LAST NIGHT. 


Elizabeth said…
Wow. My weekend suddenly seems so much more do-able. Can I help you grade? I can be tough.
I'm such a pushover this semester, Liz! Students are turning in late work like fiends, and I'm just like, "hey man, it's all cool . . ." (It's not really that cool, but I don't have the strength or will to refuse them at this point.)

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