I’ve laid out my schedule for this upcoming week, and my thoughts were confirmed that I’ve got one of the most ambitious and bright groups of students this semester that I’ve taught. (And I’m not just sucking up–I’ve got more former students who read this than current ones. But I am sucking up a little. I’ll admit that. Write nice things about me when you do evaluations! Please! 🙂 ) Most semesters when I do group conferences, I get a rush of students on the last possible day, folks who want to put off their rough drafts as long as possible. This semester I’ve got seven groups (out of fourteen) going on the second day, the first when meetings happen during our normal class meeting time, and another group is going before then. Half that many signed up for the last day this semester.
That means that when I go to sleep Monday night, unless students upload quite early and let me read their material on Monday afternoon, I’ll be getting up before 4 AM the next morning to put comments on everyone’s drafts. It’s not like the day after a paper is due, when I’ve got time on my hands to grade. I can take a weekand a half once they’re in, but on this run my deadline is when the meeting happens, which means that I have to mark them up as they come in and just take the sleep-hit. (I’m already hoping to sneak a nap in the subsequent weekend.) I know that some of my colleagues read drafts on mulitple papers every semester, and that just blows my mind. Maybe they’re faster than me. I know that it takes me at least fifteen solid minutes to read a paper and mark it up, and when one multiplies that by forty-four, that means an early wake-up time.