Monday, December 14, 2009

Rage Against the Machine

Okay, I have had disasters strike before.  I have had computer problems.  I have had my procrastination bit me in the ass.  But never, NEVER, dear Internet, have I had these horrors combine into such a perfect crapstorm.

It all began with me being slightly supremely behind in grading.  This semester has been outrageously overwhelming.  Like, if it had been my first semester teaching, I probably would have run screaming for the hills.  But now that I am a jaded college instructor, I realize poo will rain down on my head on a regular basis, and I just need to buck up, show up, and focus on the positive.

Anywhooo, I was behind on grading.  Then finals hit, with all of the final papers and final exams, and 78,492 e-mails from students with last minute questions.  Usually at this point in the semester, I am all prepared, and have all my other grades entered into my fancy Excel spreadsheets, and all the formulas created and all that jazz, and all I have to do it grade final work and the final grades calculate themselves, and then, swoosh, I send the grades away on the Interwebs and sit back and wait for mean e-mails from students about their final grades.

So I was behind.  Then I took time off to prepare for Jeremy's graduation and GO to Jeremy's graduation, and then I woke up this morning and had 58 hours of work to do and grade were due first thing in the AM.  So I buckled down and slaved away all day, and my neck HURTS from bending over the computer and my right index finger is curling up like a claw and I think it might stay that way forever, but DANG IT, I was almost done.

Then it happened.  At approximately 12:30 AM, I realized that at one point in the quarter, there was a little column in my spreadsheet with all my Comp I students' grades for their second paper.  Now there wasn't.  And I couldn't find it anywhere.  After many past computer disasters, I had saved my grades in 4 different locations.  Those grades were not in ANY of these locations.

My dad would hear this and automatically say, "Humph.  User error."  To this, I would reply, "YOU are a user error.  Burn."  (Yeah, I am pretty well-known for my awesome comebacks.)

Whatever, it was a user error or the computer is out to destroy me (you be the judge).  Either way, the only other place I had these grades recorded were on paper ... in a drawer ... in my desk in my office ... 45 miles away ... at the College that was locked up since it was PAST MIDNIGHT ON A SUNDAY.

I poured myself a cup of ambition (I will send a handful of Lansing slush in a pink envelope to the first person to identify this reference and let me know what "ambition" I drank.  Hint: it was NOT alcohol) and drove out there.  The best was yet to come, because I had to go to the Campus Safety Office, explain myself, and ask someone to let me into the building.

The officer who came to my rescue looked concerned.  When I told him my situation, the look on his face changed.  I don't care to describe it, but he definitely wasn't concerned anymore.

On the walk over to my office, I tried to make small talk and simultaneously make myself appear endearing so he would be less likely to tell stories about me.  I offered up, "Well, I bet it's safe to say I'm the only idiot you've ever had to help break into her office at 1 AM the morning before grades are due." [nervous laugh]  Then HE went and made me fall in love with him when he answered, "Oh, we have a LOT of idiots around here."

So, I came home, graded for 2 and a half hours, got completely hyped up on adrenaline, and now, instead of crawling into bed to enjoy blissful slumber, I am returning to the beast that is hell-bent on my demise.  I wish I could quit you!


  1. Oh, V! It's sad how devoted we are. Nice work!! :)

  2. Lansing sludge for me! 9 to 5, sung by the inimitable Dolly Parton.

  3. It's alright, we students are sick of doing things for you to mark. :p

  4. Oh, Miki, you are gonna love your prize. Do you have much sludge in the tundra?

  5. Kate -- sorry ... they won't pay me my mediocre salary if I don't assign papers in a writing class! :P

    Martinis or Diaper Genies -- Good, I'll follow your ass right back!

  6. Dad laughed and agreed he would have totally said that!!!

  7. Lansing sludge for me! 9 to 5, sung by the inimitable Dolly Parton.


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