Toiling in the trenches of academe

The Mad Hatter's coffee shop is considerably less crowded now, mid-afternoon, than it was at lunchtime. I have been here for a little over three hours, grading Greek finals. It's brain-frying activity, but not as bad as grading essays.

Until a short while ago, when my compatriots reached their grading limit, I was also enjoying the company of three other Duke Div. preceptors/instructors, who were working their way through American Christianity and Intro. Hebrew exams. The Americanists had been there since morning, while us language instructors had arrived at lunch time, having just administered our exams. I was happy to have happened across them, since grading is always less onerous in groups. Even if you're not (but especially if you are) grading the same sort of material.

I doubt it would make my students feel better to know it, but I was slaving over Greek for the whole time they were. I've been annotating Luke's version of the Christmas story, in order to offer them a low-frustration means of keeping up their Greek over the holiday. This has turned out to be more work than I though it would be, mostly because Luke has a significantly larger vocabulary than my first-semester Greeklings. The nice part is that there aren't that many forms that are foreign to them (except for a few verbs in the MI-conjunction, which we aren't getting to until the end of January), so as long as I provide the strange vocab., they should be able to read it.

The unintended, but welcome, side effect to this project was that after three hours of staring at my screen, toggling back and forth between my word processor and my dictionary, cutting and pasting definitions in the footnotes of my document, grading exams was actually a welcome change of pace. Imagine that.

I'm down to the last four verses of the annotation, which I will then post to the class, and then reward myself with a dinner break (after a quick stop at the library to turn in a recalled book). Grades are due by noon on Monday. A few more hours should do it -- I don't think I'll have to lose any sleep over the task this term.


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