Thursday, May 04, 2006

Assorted notes

The rain was coming down so hard at 4:30 this morning, it woke me. I could not get back to sleep, so here I am at the computer.

It is that time in the semester when I get behind in living. The only thing I have really had time for is grading papers. Just a couple of weeks after I spent dozens of hours with my thesis advisees, the completed thesis for grading were distributed. One of them was ninety-four pages, though the requirement is set a forty minimum. It is not like you can sit and read these like novels; they have to be gone over with a fine tooth comb. I usually sit at the computer while reading them, because I have to make notes of the page numbers where I find mistakes so the student knows where I found it. It generally takes me two whole evenings to get through one thesis, but this time I spent three evenings on one thesis. I had two full pages of corrections to document. It was pure generosity that I let it pass with a 2 (D) grade. It is discouraging when this happens, but she was not my advisee, so there is no responsibility to share.

At the same time, all of my freshmen students had their last papers dues, so there were thirty plus of them to read, my sophomores had their term papers turned in at fifteen pages each and there are sixteen of them in the class. To add to this, the teacher training class also had their term project due, which was twenty pages and there are fifteen of them also. When I have papers to grade, I do not leave the flat other than to go to work. I hate knowing I have work to do that is sitting there waiting for me. My philosophy has always been to give students feedback as soon as possible too. It is not fair to them to hold back on their papers longer than I need to.

Of course there are still little annoying Immigration things that need to be done in the meantime, so this bites a chunk of my time from grading papers and life in general. I still have not been able to reach the eye doctor to get my trial pair of contact lenses. I have called twice, but she has not been in. When I had a student speak to the secretary, she had no clue who I was or what I wanted, though the doctor told me to call the secretary to arrange to pick them up. The secretary was sitting there at the time and smiled at me as the doctor was telling me this. Since it is an eye clinic at the medical university, I cannot just pop in.

Yesterday, I received an invitation to the special meeting of IATEFL-Hungary, the International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language- Hungarian Chapter. They need to change the constitution to be in compliance with the International association. Since I am a member, I would have attended, but the language of the meeting is Hungarian, with interpreters as needed. An English teachers association and they are having their meeting in Hungarian…this puzzles me. I have been involved with the group in Macedonia and Bulgaria, but they have all of their meetings in English. It is no wonder the Hungarian chapter is not as fully supported as they could be.

Only two more weeks of school left. May 18th is my last day until September. By July 1st, I will start missing my students again and will be wishing the summer away.

We have only two trips planned this summer. June 3rd we will go to Dresden and Leipzig, then in August to Edinburgh. Ron will be in the States for three weeks, so that takes a chunk from chances of taking time away.

It is 5:44 am. If I push it, I can finish another student’s paper before showering. This weekend will be another hermit weekend finishing up papers.

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