Wednesday, December 15, 2010


I planned, this week, the week of finals, to be in my office on several successive days, to allow for drop-ins (drive-bys?) from students with questions or last minute thises and thats, to do some grading, to write some documents, and probably to deck the halls with boughs of holly falalalalalalalala, etc. A sensible person would have had a more focused, a narrower, a more realistic agenda. Also, a sensible person would not have set a final due date of tomorrow for stuff to come in. (Note to self: must be more sensible about due dates!) Needless to say, this is more of what happened:

On Monday, I arrive. I plug in. I take a sip of a warm beverage. I contemplate my list. Then, Unexpected Person Number One drops by to say, "Hey! remember when you gave me that incomplete exactly one year ago? Whaddya know, I finished my stuff! It's on my e-portfolio! Have you read it yet? When do you think you'll be able to turn in my grade?" I tell him I will definitely read his work, give him the grade he has earned, definitely by the deadline.

I sip my beverage. I open an e-mail. I sort through what I have and don't have from my students. I send a few e-mails of the "When might I expect this item from you, this item that was due yesterday?" variety. Then, Unexpected Person Number Two drops by to say, "I have a disaster, and you are my faculty leader. Fix it." I tell this person I will fix it, I surely will. I assure this person I will write a strongly worded e-mail, I will make a phone call, I will raise holy hell. I take a gulp of the beverage, and look at my list, and revise my expectations downward.


It is the end of Wednesday, I have not written any documents, I still have stuff to sort through and numbers to plug in on my grading grid. This week thus far, I have not, in fact, graded one thing whatsoever. Also, I have Christmas presents to buy for the grandchildren! And, for that matter, a Christmas tree. And I need butter. So here is my new plan:

1. Grade things. Everything, in fact.
2. Buy a Christmas tree.
3. Buy some butter.
4. Bake like a madwoman, after the grading is done.

I hope you'll notice that "grade things" was the number one item on my agenda. That means I gots priorities.


  1. I heard on the radio about an actual scientific law tha discussed this very scenario... That even ifyou take into account slippage... Stuff always takes longer than you think it is going to. Take heart! You are not alone!

  2. I love your priorities!



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