End-of-Semester Ninja

Ninja-Level: can perform complex tasks in conditions of high uncertainty, stress, and conflict.

If we consider the above definition (which is 100% accurate since I found it on the Internet), I've officially leveled up. I'm a ninja, dear readers. In the midst of high uncertainty, stress, and conflict, I'm still performing complex tasks.

Am I scaling walls? Launching metal stars with great accuracy by swiftly flicking my wrist? Lunging athletically while wielding an imposing sword? No, on all accounts. But, if you saw me with a rubric right now, you'd definitely think, "Dang. She's a ninja." (That is, if you could see me at all. Ninjas reside in the shadows, invisible.)

So far this week, I've listened to approximately 70 final student presentations. I've graded slightly over half of them. They're my air and sustenance right now: I breathe and eat final speeches. These are the walls I'm scaling.

It's all I do: I listen, I take notes, I think, I grade. I sift rubric criteria with swift flicks of my wrist, lunging in an imposing manner with my audio podcast feedback that's personalized to each and every student. Ninja-level, I tell you.

I also keep sharp in other ways, asking myself tough questions like, "Wait, why did I walk into this room?" and "What was I supposed to be doing right now?" Apparently, if I'm a ninja in one aspect of life (work), I'm a goldfish in all other areas.

In the moments when I'm not grading, I daydream about everything I want to do when I have a break from grading. So far on my list:

  • Organize my entire closet by holding each piece of clothing to my heart and asking, "Does this spark joy?" while deliberating all the fashion choices I've ever made.

  • Read books. What books, you ask? All of the books. ALL of them.

  • Paint my dining room. Or maybe change the pictures on the walls. Or perhaps swap out the table cloth. I'm not sure. Something is off in that room. I can't put my finger on it,.

  • Become a professional garage-saler, like those guys on American Pickers. Imagine me driving a van off into the distance like a modern-day treasure hunter. 

I'm so close. I can almost taste it.

Once I submit my final grades this upcoming weekend, I'll have two full weeks before classes start again. And during those two weeks, trust me, not only will I remember why I'm walking into rooms, but I also plan on being a ninja-level master at closet organization, book reading, dining room decorating, and garage saling.

You won't see it of course, because I'll be invisible. That's just the ninja way. 

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