I just taught my last class of spring semester at Marietta. I had fun teaching in the lab again, and I hope to be able to do it again in the future, but I was reminded how terribly dreadful this time of the year is for the academic.
The end of a semester is always hectic; there is inevitably a backlog of grading to catch up on before grades are due, students are desperate to know exactly how many points they have so that they can know exactly how many points they can miss on the final exam, and there’s ALWAYS a few students that want extra credit.
I’m giving them extra credit, I always do, but I do find it funny how focus people get on their grades toward the end of a semester. It’s like this: you haven’t worried about it all semester long, and now during the last week, you want to know how to salvage your grade.
Maybe it’s because I’ve admittedly had quite a lot of success academically, but I don’t ever remember being like that. Spring semester ending always brought relief when I was an undergrad, and immense stress in grad school: where is my advisor going, how long will he be gone for, what do I need to get done before he’s gone for six weeks, oh great we have to Skype and he’s on the other side of the world, and by the way there’s no way the air conditioner in the building is getting fixed.
I’m experiencing much less stress in my current academic position, and I really enjoy that; sure, I’ve got a bit of grading to do, and I’m going to have to read these extra credit papers now, but after that we’re back to focusing on Cardinal 100%. That’s something that I’m absolutely looking forward to.
Strange how now that my work is winding down, I’m excited to… work.