Graduation passed me by. I didn't participate. This note explains why and maybe will make you giggle.
Below is my out of office message for the last two days while buried by a ton of digital paper. You might enjoy it.
Dear Gentle email correspondent,
Although I have a pathological addiction to email, I have been transported into a saferoom in an untraceable location, with no digital communication tools, to allow me to finish grading 56 take home exams by Saturday at noon.
I turned off my Google Email and buried its tab in some far away place- I am already suffering addiction withdrawal even though I am still in Google. I will check on my reliable digital companion a couple of times over the next 48 hours and let it know that it is cared for, but you may not get a response until I am rescued from the safehouse; and/or when Banner turns off the electric fence when grades are submitted, and/or Canvas stops holding my students hostage until I enter detailed comments and add their extra credit.
If this is truly urgent-- Genie and Canvas have indicated that they will not block my phone or text at xxx-xxx-xxxx. Though my ringer is off. I will, however, gaze down at my lonely phone, who is also addicted to my attention, after each exam is graded, to ensure its withdrawal symptoms are not severe, and that every emergency message is received, This will ensure that the world won't end if I don't respond.
Thanks for your patience ..
Here is the background.
The academic rhythm is like a marathon designed by the devil. There is an extraordinary steep uphill climb to the finish line. I made it, just barely crawling over the ending point a few hours before they locked the gate.
For me, the end of the marathon is grading 56, 10 page or so Take Home Exams, giving each student a pretty long paragraph of comments. They were due Weds by midnight because that was the day their final was scheduled-- but we didn't have a final. Of course, even though students had a month to do the exam, most handed it in a few minutes before the deadline on Weds night..
So, after two 16 hour days of grading on Thursday and Friday, not getting to bed before 3:00AM, and then waking up on Saturday to get the feedback entered into Canvas and the grades entered by 1:00PM. I made it before the the grade entry system is locked on Saturday night.
Our university used to have deadlines for submitting grades on the Monday following graduation. But, apparently the registrar thinks grading is really easy and needed them entered by Saturday evening. I assume the registrar's office will all be working on Sunday to to verify graduation for students. I have to believe that myth.
Now there is a lull in the academic rhythm where students disappear, and where one gets to focus on all the things one couldn't get done during the semester, prepare courses for Spring, write proposals and paper, and serve on panels.
It gets tiring getting notes for senior leaders that suggest we all just go home for three weeks and sleep.
But, I still love the academic rhythm.