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.
- 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.
- 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!
- Twenty recommendations later, I have only one left, so I have kept on top of grading . . .until probably next week!
- Intellectual risk-taking: some exciting essay topics on Beowulf–the warriors project onto the monsters their own monstrosity.
- New essay topics in ninth grade–one student noticed the loneliness of women in the Odyssey
- Swimming twice a week, not thrice.
- 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.
- 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!