Thursday, May 5, 2016

Thursday Morning Blues

I am sitting in my office waiting for a student to bring me a paper. Two papers. Why do I do it? All my colleagues are sleeping in, playing golf, or who knows what while I wait on a straggler. It always happens.

To make it worse, I vow at the beginning of each semester, "Not this time." I struggle hard enough with the huge paper crush that comes at the end of a school year. English teachers have it the worst. I takes time to wade through essay after essay and not become irate, mean, or despondent. I don't always succeed. On top of that, the school is always desperate to get the grades. They are due at 4:00 pm today. That's what they say. Actually, any moment now and an email will go out to anyone who has ever heard of MDCC. It will be a list of teachers who don't have their grades in.

I wonder out loud this time each spring as to why I care more than the students. I shouldn't, it seems to me, be more concerned than them about their grades, but apparently I am. It's not enough to vow I won't and promise myself and the students that Thursday of exam week I will be swimming or running or doing anything else besides trying to contact a couple of them and hoping maybe one or two show up with a paper. Always I sit here on Thursday morning like the Maytag repair man and place calls that students don't answer and send emails that they don't read until at last I can delay no longer. Do I give a W or I or an F? They all deserve an F, and I deserve to play.