Mid-October Report (for Sara C)

Finding time for words becomes harder and harder as I try to devour piles of essays.  Grading, like editing, requires the skills of a translator. I have to learn your language so I can teach you how to speak it better in your writing. And while I puzzle over your word choice and sentence construction, I have to look at how you stitched (or did not stitch) the argument together; and we won’t mention the evidence at all just yet.

But this year, I am determined to find time for my words.  At best, then, for now, as Xenia essays on The Odyssey and creative pieces on Grendel stack up on the table, I can report on the status of those beginning-of-the-year goals.

  1. Enough sleep–sometimes, but mid-October migraines like to wake me in pre-dawn light.  Aging stalks the body like Grendel in the mead hall.
  2. Every year grading takes more time, not less.  I now use two colors per essay.  I vowed to my students last week when I handed back the Beowulf papers that if I ever began using three, I should retire!
  3. Twenty recommendations later, I have only one left, so I have kept on top of grading . . .until probably next week!
  4. Intellectual risk-taking: some exciting essay topics on Beowulf–the warriors project onto the monsters their own monstrosity.
  5. New essay topics in ninth grade–one student noticed the loneliness of women in the Odyssey
  6. Swimming twice a week, not thrice.
  7. Fun in class: How could we not, what with Grendel and now the Friar, the Wife of Bath,  and the whole cast of Chaucer’s characters.
  8. Balance. . . *sigh*  Then again, Sara, I have gotten out for a hike and a dinner now and then.  And I am reading a delicious novel, The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides–shades of Middlemarch among Brown students.  And finally, here is a recent photo from one of my favorite local hiking spots.

Report Card: B

Sara, I am hanging in there.  Hope your semester is going well!

 Northwest Branch in October

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One thought on “Mid-October Report (for Sara C)

  1. Oh, I feel so much the same way. I am taking today as a Sabbath mini-sabbatical from grading or thinking about teaching in any other form. Maybe I’ll even be able to actually write a blog entry.

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