Friday, December 13, 2013

End of Semester Blues and The Hypoxic Henchman

I finally made it to the end of the fall semester at MDCC. Allegedly. My job is really pretty easy. My job is really difficult. The truth is, my job is pretty easy until the end of the semester rolls around and then it is just unbelievable. Some of the strain is my fault, and I plan on making some adjustments next semester. I've said that before. This time, however, I will make the changes. One thing I have always done that makes life almost unbearable at the end of a school term is to show mercy to the students and allow their last papers to be turned in on exam day. That makes things easy for them but unbearable for me because I have two papers to grade for every student and a very short time in which to do it. To further complicate matters, when I allow final papers on exam day, about twenty percent of the students fail to turn one in. Huh?

I know what you are thinking: there's an easy solution to that: just give them an F. I do that if efforts to track them down prove unsuccessful. But for some reason I can't explain, I care more about student's grades than they do. I am the only teacher at our campus on Thursday every end of term sitting around, making calls, and waiting on students to bring in work. Not next time. I do them no favor by allowing them to be irresponsible.

Anyway, it's over for a little while. I hope. I never feel like I'm off for several days after school is out because you never know when the administration is going to call -- they ALWAYS call -- and say I didn't turn in grades for students x, y, and z. I go over and over those rolls and submit the grades multiple times. It ain't socket rience. Still, they ALWAYS call. But only after they send out an email to every instructor, administrator, secretary, cafeteria worker, and janitor with my name (and others) displaying our alleged failure for all the world to see. I think their names should be sent out to everyone and how much money they have spent on a software package that does not work, that does not do as much as the software it replaced.

OK, I am exhausted, fat, and pitching a fit. What to do when exhausted, fat, and pitching a fit? Go to Masters swim, of course, which is exactly what I did Tuesday and Thursday. First, Monday I ran 2.03 miles, and Tuesday I swam

The Mad Swimming Scientist, AKA the Hypoxic Henchman
4 X 75 build @1:30
300 pull, medium paddles
4 X 75 build @ 1:30
300 pull, medium paddles
4 X 75 build @ 1:30
300 pull, medium paddles (end of Masters)
150 small paddles
150 medium paddles
150 large paddles
150 extra large paddles
Total: 3,750 yards = 3,427.5 meters.

Wednesday I got out in the Eskimo weather and ran 9.38 miles. God, how I long for our old warm winters.

Thursday I went back to DSU. Note the picture on the right. On deck is Cagri, the Mad Swimming Scientist, AKA the Hypoxic Henchman. Look at his hands. He has a short cord which he's about to use to strangle the swimmer, Ricky Smith. Ricky's sin? He miscounted and breathed after six strokes instead of seven. Notice Ricky fisting up in an attempt to defend himself, all to no avail I can attest. Sometimes the Henchman has us counting three and even four things at once. Example: we swim 800 (16 50s) descending 1-4 (that is first 50, fast; second 50, faster; third 50 faster; fourth 50, all out; then without stopping we start 1-4 again. Do that four times meaning we have to count to sixteen and one to four four times, AND count breaths, breathing on 3, 5, 7, 9 by 50s (sometimes by 25s which makes it really fun). Did I mention that we also count strokes by 50s or 25s? This is no joke. So poor Ricky miscounted one time and got strangled and beaten for his error. We swam

800 medium paddles
850 large paddles (supposed to be 800, but I lapped Ricky, who was still suffering from strangulation and a beating, and I didn't want him to get beaten again)
900 swim (I lapped Ricky twice who had to be defibrillated after the second 800)
(End of Masters)
400 extra large paddles
400 small paddles
Total: 4,800 yards = 4,287.2 meters.

Now, with school out and no Masters next Tuedsay (swim meet), maybe I can start thinking about The Great Noxapater Journey Run.