Alice is right, I have been locked in grading jail. For my amusement, and for the sake of posting something, here's a look at how I've been doing my hard time:
- Number of intro-level papers graded: 72
- Number of intro-level papers to go: 0 (WooHoo!)
- Number of multiple choice questions ready to go in Blackboard for the final exam: 60
- Number of emails received from intro-level students in the last week: greater than 30
- Number of those emails asking how to calculate their grade or when the final exam is: greater than 20
- Number of upper-level papers submitted: 22
- Number of upper-level papers yet to be graded: 22 (Eeek!)
- Amount of money spent on soda and chips for a final exam slot scheduled from 11 am to 2 pm and during which we'll be listening to presentations: $15
- SciWo's gladness that students are doing final presentations not an exam: A number only exceeded by the students gladness about the same subject
- Number of independent studies supervised: 3
- Number of independent study students who need to turn in their final product: 1
- Number of comprehensive exams I need to receive and grade: 2
As you can see, I've got another few days worth of teaching-related tasks to accomplish and then I can focus in on research again. I actually spent a fair chunk of last week focusing on research, so the grading jail of this week is partially a deferred sentence. But I'll report back if I can make early parole.
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Have you professor types invented a grading wiki that anonymizes everyone's answers, posts them on a discussion forum, and then lets the students argue about them after the fact in an attempt to find a consensus? It would probably decrease grading time and be a useful tool for identifying good vs bad exam questions.
Does Mystery U not believe in TAs? I ask this as a grad student who just finished grading those intro level papers.
So this is what waits for me on the other side, eh? Good luck!