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Finding time to grade

Or … Sam whines again.

I’m behind on grading. More precisely, I’m way behind on grading. I have three classes in which I’m about to distribute take-home exams. I don’t like distributing new exams without returning the previous exam. But I haven’t finished grading. The question I face is When can I find the time to grade? Let’s consider the past few days.

I have more to do than my daily work and my grading. For example, On Thursday, I needed to get a recommendation letter done, I needed to finish my triennial review report, and I had some other paperwork that I’ve now forgotten. I also had email to read and respond to [1]. What did my Thursday schedule look like?

  • I had a class from 8:30 to 11:00.
  • I planned to attend Scholars Convocation from 11:00 to noon.
  • I had the weekly meeting of the Scheme Squad [2] from noon to 1:00.
  • I had office hours from 1:30 to 3:00.
  • I had to shop and set up for CS extras 3:00 to 4:00 [3].
  • I planned to attend the CS extra from 4:00 to 5:00 [5].
  • I attended a sports banquet from 5:00 to 7:00 [6].
  • I attended the high school play from 7:30 to 10:00 [7].

That didn’t leave much time to do much of anything, let alone grade. Somehow, I found time to get the recommendation letter done. I finished my salary review after returning from the play.

Friday and Saturday, I took students to the Missouri-Iowa-Nebraska-Kansas Celebration of Women in Computing (MINK-WIC). We left Grinnell before 8:00 a.m. on Friday. I had planned to be back in Grinnell in the late afternoon on Saturday. But the Career Fair ran long and our quick stop for dinner took longer than any of us had planned. So I didn’t get home until 10:30 p.m. Saturday night.

Sunday (today), I had work to do around the house [8]. With preregistration coming, I had to check in with my advisees. I had a variety of email issues to deal with. We have a faculty meeting and department meeting on on Monday and I needed to think about some materials for those meetings. But I also got some grading done, just not enough.

Thursday was atypical only in that my evening was booked. Most of my weekdays are booked from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. or after [9]. I have an exam to write and a project to design.

I’ve yet to figure out the solution to this problem: When can I grade? It’s not fair to my students that they aren’t getting work back. But I really have no idea how to get the grading done in the midst of my other work.

Oh well, at least there are only five weeks left in the semester (plus finals). Next semester will be much more reasonable.

[1] Or does that just fit under the heading of regular work?

[2] The faculty and mentors for CSC 151.

[3] Why am I shopping and setting up for talks? Our department budget will not allow us to hire catering. College policy will not allow us to send a student or staff member. Hence, a faculty member needs to do the shopping and setup for our talks [4].

[4] Now that I think about it, I might be able to hire a student to do the setup and cleanup. I’ll talk to the Chair about that.

[5] I wasn’t able to attend because of a family errand I needed to run.

[6] I believe in supporting my children in their activities.

[7] Once again, I believe in supporting my children in their activities. The play runs three nights, but I was unavailable Friday and Saturday night.

[8] I did some, but not all.

[9] This week, on MWF I have CSC 151 from 8:30-9:50, CSC 301 from 11:00-11:50, a meeting from noon-1:00, CSC 151 from 1:00-2:30, office hours from 2:30 to 3:45, and a meeting from 4:00-5:00 or so. 10:00-11:00 is supposed to be time to prepare class. On TuTh I have CSC 322 from 8:30-10:50, a meeting from noon to 1:00, office hours from 1:30-3:45, and meetings or talks from 4:00-5:00 or so. I can’t remember if there’s a convocation this week [10]. But I know The Tales of the Tribes has its premier at the Faulconer Gallery on Tuesday at 11:00.

[10] Nope. I have a free hour. Yay.

Version 1.1 of 2017-11-05.