It's the Monday of Spring Break week, and I have emerged victorious. You see, I collected a hefty stack of essays from two classes directly before break. As one student passed his paper up the row, he announced with almost comedic relief, "This is your problem now." (I am predisposed to automatically like a student who admits things like this.)
And he was right. When I walked off campus with my work bag unable to zip because of its fullness, that stack of 40 essays was my
"problem" of sorts. As one friend has been known to say, Why do I keep
assigning things that need to be evaluated?
After a brief moment of self-pity where I lamented the fact that Joel would be gone for the entire week -- an absence that left me by myself not only with the essays, but also with the girls, for eight straight days, I made some quick and definitive choices: Get over it. Be thankful. Make progress.
When I haven't been playing with the girls at home or dallying for two hours at the Chick-Fil-A play area, I've devoted nearly every spare minute of these past three days to those essays. Thanks to two strategically-timed and much-appreciated play dates, I was able to knock out a substantial amount of grading over the past two afternoons. During the evenings once the girls were tucked into bed, I continued the work late into the night: stationing myself at the kitchen table, lowering my head, and plowing through.
I only left the table when I needed to refill my glass of water. Or to get more Thin Mint cookies.
Last night, I reached the final essay. I wrote my comments, recorded the grades, shuffled all the papers into one neat stack, and returned them to my work bag.
Oh, it feels so good.
It also would have felt good to spend my Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights watching a movie or going to bed earlier. But not as good as it feels to have actually finished. Not as good as it feels to be at the start of the week without any pressing work obligations.
Not that you'd be dragging your feet by browsing the Internet and reading my blog, of course, but are you putting something off? I know it's not fun to tackle a hard task, but you'll feel so much better once you start.
And, you'll feel even better once you finish.
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