(to borrow a meme from La Isis)
I understand that you took your exams on Monday and that our class meets next on Wednesday. I know that you are anxious to find out how you are doing in the class. Believe it or not, I am anxious to know how well I am in doing in helping you learn the material. But, unfortunately, you are not going to get your graded exams and projects back on Wednesday. You see, I am only human.
After you finished your exams, I taught another class and met with students. Then I went home to my family and had dinner with the neighbors. Afterwards, I had a wired 2 year old who couldn’t fall asleep and really, really wanted her mommy. Finally, at 10 pm (way, way, way past her normal bedtime), I gave in and took her to bed with me. After she gave up crying because I wouldn’t let her bring “The Cat in the Hat” to bed with us, she fell sound asleep. At 6 am, I snuck out of bed to get some work done, but rather than grading your exams, I ran some laundry so my family would have clean, folded clothes to wear this week.
I’ve been in my office all day, but I still haven’t graded your exams. I’ve met with students and colleagues, I written tomorrow’s lab, starting writing an assignment for another class, and begun to revise the two lectures I’ll give tomorrow. I’ve been working through the logistics of our field trip next week. Tonight, I’ll work for a few more hours to make sure that my lectures tomorrow are accurate, up-to-date, and delivered in an engaging manner. Hopefully my daughter will sleep better. If she does, I might get the family’s bills paid before they are due. But I am very unlikely to finish grading your exams before I collapse in exhaustion at midnight.
I strive to teach you in the way that respects your life outside of my class, which is why I trust you when I see your panic-stricken face and hear the story about the flat tire you got on the way to the exam. So, Wednesday, when I come to class without a graded stack of exams to return, please remember that your professor is only human and she too has a life beyond the -ology classroom.