Gibbering quietly in my corner

Welcome to Stress City! Yesterday was exams and exams, all very traditional pen-and-paper things, and right now the ugly pile of pulp is festering in a bag, awaiting the kiss of my red pen. These have to be done by 1:00 tomorrow, because the cell bio students will want to know their standing so they can decide whether they should take the optional final or not. I stand between a decision to go home for the holidays right away, or stay in Morris through next week for another exam. There may be poundings on my office door escalating to deployment of Grond if I don’t get it done.

I cleared my desk yesterday by submitting the online exam for my intro course early. That one is due at 5pm on Saturday, which is cutting it close: I have to depart for the airport at 6am Sunday, so my Saturday night party is more grading. Also packing for a flight.

Oh, right, I also have a couple of term papers I have to finish grading today.

Between that 1pm deadline today, and 5pm due date tomorrow, I have to compose the two final exams that they’ll have to answer to next week, while I’m away in Seattle. That’s right, I’ll be grading exams while visiting my poor sick mother.

Normally, my end of semester work load isn’t this bad, but normally I don’t stack an urgent flight across the country on top of it.


  1. stuffin says

    Been retired for over a year, do not miss work. Feel bad for everybody who still has to wake up every day to the alarm clock, make their way to work and deal with the daily toil and stress of deadlines. Thinking of taking a parttime job, something where I don’t have to deal with people in depth. After a career in nursing dealing with sick people and their families, I’m done.

  2. weylguy says

    Yes, Dr. Myers, the job’s demanding, but don’t forget about that fat pay check and the Christmas bonus!
    Oh, that’s right, you’re a teacher. Sorry about the build-up.

  3. Akira MacKenzie says

    At least you have the brains and the talent to have a career that you seem to enjoy.

    I could never say the same for myself. I have no brains. I have no talent. I’m only qualified for service jobs that I can’t stand.

    Still, take care of yourself.

  4. birgerjohansson says

    I am told the kava polynesians drink is better for the health (and mood) than alcohol.
    Just putting it out there for despair-flooded people.

  5. robro says

    At least your commute is nice, PZ…depending on the weather of course.

    My son just called on his way from his place to the school where he’s taking classes. It’s a 20 mile drive but at 8:00 am the freeway traffic is a nightmare, and there is no alternative. The only non-freeway route between his place and the next town on the way to the school is an hour drive into the countryside…lovely but not helpful. He enrolled in in-person classes for the social aspect…and he’s even had a couple of dates…but he just told me that next semester he’ll go for remote classes again.

  6. birgerjohansson says

    Akira Mac Kenzie @ 3
    If you have some friend in a proper european country (NOT Britain) maybe they can arrange a job for you, where you also can enjoy health benefits instead of the crummy US health care system.
    BTW Irland has English as language, but Canada (yes, I know, not Europe) is closer to the US. So is Bahamas.
    At this point I recommend any English-language place that is free from Trump enthusiasts and anti-vaxxers.

  7. says

    You aren’t wrong, it’s just worth considering that the US moral panic on vaccines is one version of that panic that would read about in other nations before it happened here. (That were sometimes triggered by us because there was a potential).

    It’s an underlying tendency to moral panics and scapegoating. Irrational thinking leads to irrational connections that can be manipulated.

  8. says

    Makes me wish there were two of you, PZ. One of you could visit your mother, while the other you stayed home to do all paperwork, grading, etc.

  9. says

    I know it is early (not Dec.21st yet), but I want to wish you and your loved ones a Winter Solstice of peace, health and contentment (and no more avalanches of work for now). And, thanks for providing this space for discussion of important topics you pummel is with (despite the occasional childish troll or two)

  10. says

    No, no, you bad stumbling fingers, I meant to say ‘important topics you pummel US with’.

    For a stress relieving chuckle, just remember the cute Smothers Brothers Xmas carol
    ‘Oh, you better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout, I’m tellin’ you why, santa claus is dead.’

  11. birgerjohansson says

    If PZ sets up a time loop he can have n versions of himself working in parallel, with the one exiting the loop visiting his mother.
    This is similar to how the pyramid builders in Terry Pratchett’s Pyramids solved the problem with building a pyramid on a tight scheldue.

  12. Akira MacKenzie says

    I almost look forward to the coming automation apocalypse. On one hand, I’ll be starving in the streets, but on the other I won’t have to go to a job I hate, talking to people who irritate me while remaining civil, wrestling with poorly designed CSM programs and the petty quality assurance department who’s job is looking for an excuses to fire employees, the constant mandatory overtime…

    Oh well, I’m going to die anyway. It doesn’t really matter if I die in squalor or luxury, I’m still just as dead. Nothing matters anymore.

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