A friend of mine was asking how exams were going for me. This was a few hours after I’d graded a class–they had an exam and a final research paper, so I was reading for hours and hours and hours. My response was, “After a while, it’s so much energy to care.” She giggled. I didn’t.
See, I was dead serious. Now, I do care how my students do. I read every damned, just-shy-of-plagarized paper, read every half-assed answer on their exams, and give each one all my concentration. But do you really think there’s an answer I haven’t seen before? A response that blows my mind? Maybe one each semester. Not many. Do you have any idea how many students a professor has a semester? How many hundreds of papers get stacked on that desk at the end of the year? So I may be bored, a little frustrated, but determined to give each student their due. I grab every bit of concentration, good will and focus I have. And because I do, the rest of my existence that day becomes a big pile of blah. I used up all my give-a-shit energy on those papers. So I just don’t care about anything else.
Case in point: I came home, and my loving hubby had made a cold salad for dinner. It was healthy, totally within bounds of our veggies 4x a weeknight rule, and I couldn’t give a shit. I had bought a box of Lucky Charms on the way home. My first box in months. I ate two bowls.
I also watched the nauseating Gypsy Wedding and Gold Rush with my man because I simply didn’t care enough to grab the remote. And I loathe reality tv. I left the light on when I went to bed. I left (gasp) dirty dishes in the sink. I drank expired milk. Until exams are actually over, I wouldn’t trust my ability to dress myself, either. That’s why I planned my clothing last week. I kid you not.
So when I overhear students saying how hard finals are and how teachers just don’t understand how exhausting it is (forgetting the 8 years of college to obtain my degrees) I just mentally say whatever and just maybe scratch my nose…