Sunday, May 06, 2007

Treading water

Just a short breather from exams--grading some and preparing for others.

I have never had to grade so many of the same item before (1 of 2 TAs for a 300-person class), and it reminds me of how little I would want to lecture to such a large group. It's hard to think of these students as individuals as I try to get through each answer as quickly as possible so I can get back to my own work. I have never felt quite like this before--it's quite divorced from my teaching philosophy, but it should be the last time I have to do this.

And then I've got my major exam of the semester in just over a week. With the pregnancy first and then the miscarriage, I lost a good 2/3 of the time I might have been productive this semester. So I'm hoping I can make up for it/find the necesary shortcuts in this last week. I've taken similar exams before, so I can use that experience to prepare efficiently, but it's still a huge amount of work.

A complication for all of this is that I am teaching my own class this semester--the full year of what I taught this fall--and its first two days overlap with my exam. Luckily I've done some planning in my head and have taught the material I'll need for the first two days before. Then I can go back to being the sort of teacher I want to be.

Sandra over at Sunshine Scribe recently talked about getting caught up in the "as soon as" cycle. I strongly identify with that and recognize I'm in the middle of one. Of course, I have another one planned for when I finish the exam, really an overlap since teaching for the summer is part of that one (plus some work towards my comps, more therapy for Scooter, and some travel) and is set to go until mid-August. At which point, we're thinking of trying for a baby again and I'll head into the second phase of my comps (for which I will want to push through as much as I can before the spring semester--which will be the end of my comps, my last class, and possibly a baby and moving). I'm definitely in danger of too many shallow breaths--heck, I'm close to hyperventilating just typing that all.

And that is why, contrary to what might be common-sense, I'm adding something else... yoga. It doesn't start until my next crazy-making cycle, but maybe it will slow things down just enough.

But for now... time to hit some more caffeine and see how many more exams I can bear to read.


Sandra said...

Well you know I can relate.

But ... Yoga ... now that sounds like a pretty excellent idea. Really. Despite all the busy-ness it is grounding, and meditative and now you've got me thinking of looking to add to my own nightmareish schedule. Yoga ... brilliant :)

Good luck with the exams and marking!

Suz said...'s that time of year. I have to grade in smallish batches because if I read too many at one time, I start getting impatient.

Mad Hatter said...

Yoga is always a good idea.

Laural said...

Wow. That is insane! Yoga does help, but I have to admit that sometimes when I have a lot on my plate it stresses me out to try to relax. (that's when I jog out the anxiety). Good luck!

crazymumma said...

It must be exhausting reading all of those exams. 'as soon' as you are done make sure you get a little fun in to balance it all off.