Thursday, April 23, 2009

End of Term

People keep asking if I'm out of paper-grading-hell yet. When they ask they are certain I will say "Yes!" and we'll both engage in this moment of shared bliss -- a strange social construct of ours since the person asking has absolutely nothing to do with my bliss but feels the need to participate in it anyway. Alas, that bliss-shit ain't happening.

I sat (technically, I still am sitting) and waited for finals to be handed in to me this morning. I graded papers as I waited and watched the maintenance staff clean out Miller Fountain with a pool cleaner on a 40' pole. This was particularly amusing when they cleaned out the edge of the fountain and the pole was sticking 40' up in the air.

With the arrival of the finals I have moved into a different sort of paper-grading-hell. Are there layers? Has Dante categorized this? Whatever it is it simply means that there is more work to do; that the hell hath not ended.

Last night I attended the last workshop of the semester. We held it in the instructor's living room complete with wine and food. It was a nice change of pace from the oddly sanitary classrooms I've been sitting in all year. Scratch that thought. The stark and occasionally unsanitary classrooms (mystery sticky substance appeared on the floor a few weeks ago and garnered much discussion).

It feels odd to know I won't have a workshop for four months now. And when I do it will be in non-fiction not fiction. Although that's not entirely true: I'll be at the Kenyon Review Writer's Workshop in about two months. Just two months! Those workshops are always amazing, and this year I'm working with the ruthless Nancy Zafris, an experience I'm looking forward to.

The folklore and fairy tales class ended on Monday with my mad-dash term paper writing, but I won't have to wait for months for another lit class. I start another one of those at the beginning of May. Yea! for American Linguistics! (Pep rallies are good for the soul.)

But once I emerge from paper-grading-hell, these won't be the things I'm thinking of.

I'll be thinking of CLEANING MY APARTMENT. It's gone to pot these past ten days. My clean laundry is teetering precariously on top of a drying rack that was never meant to hold so much weight. The counter is half-covered with dishes. It was completely covered yesterday morning, but I ran out of coffee mugs and decided that unloading, loading and running the dishwasher was, indeed, a necessary use of time. The carpet needs vacuumed. (Do you like my southern Indiana dialect there?) The bathroom sink also needs cleaned. (Okay, I'll stop with the dialect.) And my bedroom/office is generally in shambles. It is a situations, and that is probably the nicest term I can use to describe it. I'll post before and after pictures tomorrow.

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