Immured behind walls of paper for the nonce

It’s that time. Finals are over. The students get to relax, and many of them get to travel home to enjoy time with family. And we professors get to sit before stacks of exams, a battery of red pens at hand, and begin the awful process of grading.

I am about to cloister myself with two sets of exams and a pile of term papers, and I will not emerge until they are done. My goal is to get through them all before our trip to Minneapolis tomorrow. So no distractions allowed.

FtB Minneapolis gathering

Ed Brayton is going to be in Minneapolis for the Sunday solstice event with Minnesota Atheists this weekend, and he gets in on Saturday. If you don’t have tickets to the Winter Solstice dinner (it’s sold out!), you can still join us Saturday night at the Radisson Blu Minneapolis, in the hotel bar at 8 to whenever. I’ll be there, so will Brianne, Stephanie, Jason, and of course, some guy named Ed. Come on by for casual conversation. Maybe Ed will tell us some jokes, too.

That’s this Saturday, the 20th, 8:00pm, at 35 South Seventh Street, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55402. I’ll have my grading done by then, so I might even be coherent and semi-human!

You know what other group is rife with douchebaggery?

Airline pilots. I was surprised.

Quartz ran an article in which an investigator discovered that pilots were often using prohibited equipment to take photos of the cockpit, the scenery, the view as they were landing, all actions which are prohibited by the airlines. Just as we passengers get told there are certain gadgets we have to shut off or put in airplane mode during phases of the flight, the crew has even more stringent requirements — they’re, for instance, required to maintain a “sterile cockpit” with no electronic distractions at all during take-off and landing.

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The end is in sight

One more class hour to go, and it’s a review. Then a unit exam on Thursday, a unit exam in another class on Friday, a final exam next Wednesday and one last final on the Thursday after that, which means I’m substituting hours of lecture prep for days and days of non-stop grading. I may have to rethink my syllabi in the future to avoid this last-week crush of tests, because grading exams is my very least favorite thing about teaching.

Can I just give them all a C and pretend I read their work? That would be fair, wouldn’t it?