Saturday, December 22, 2007
Nonsectarian, Nondenominational Holiday Greetings
After a grueling couple of days, I finally finished all of my grading for the semester. All educators seem to agree: Grading sucks.
Each prof I know has some peculiarities that really drive them up the wall when they read student papers. Certainly I have a couple. Normally, for instance, I am not a stickler about grammar. After a full semester of writing for my class, however, I am amazed that students haven’t figured out that they need to write using past tense for history. By "amazed," I really mean "beating my head against a cinder block wall until it is bloody." This is despite the fact that I have constantly written in the margins of all of their other papers. I mean, come on – History is the study of the past. Therefore, past tense should be intuitive, no? How hard can that be?
Yet, I still had papers that discussed Emiliano Zapata as an active and eternal agent. Sure, he might have died in 1919. According to some of my students, though, he continues to fight in the Mexican Revolution to this very day.
In the midst of all that grading, I also had to go and do some rapid shopping for my family. Normally I start shopping for the holidays months before the final day. This year, though, I didn’t even notice how quickly time was passing. There is nothing more disturbing than feeling the panic about trying to find something – anything – to give as a gift. In my case, I had zero (0) gifts for my family as of 5:00 pm on Thursday.
Now I am off to my place of birth for a very short holiday. While I am eager to spend time in New Mexico again, part of me would simply prefer to sleep for the next few days. I have so little energy, it might be nice just to hide out in quiet.
It's not that I am not eager to see my family. Still, I think we all agree that family time can be tricky. They know how to push your buttons. After all, they installed them. Plus, my sister has already informed me that she plans to try and fix me up with a friend of hers -- who is retired and over sixty.
While I don't want to be ageist (Hey, you never know where that potential love interest might appear!), I find it hard to imagine that we are really going to hit it off. I am just at the start of my career and half his age. It makes me wonder what she imagined that we had in common, Oh, right! We are both gay. Isn't that enough?
All I can say is that my parents better have plenty of tamales waiting for me when I arrive. In the meantime, I hope all of you have a great holiday!
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you better call when you hit the mountain...
- Baron Scarpia the agnostic
I hope you have a wonderful holiday and suck down a tamale for me would you?
"They know how to push they buttons, they installed them" - a classic line,excellent.
I think younger people don't read enough, hence they don't learn how to write well. I know a lot of my writing skills came from the fact I was an avid reader.
The reason you didn't have all that time to do your shopping is that you are probably just starting to settle down in MFT and getting yourself acclamated to the new job. Enjoy yourself in NM despite the buttons that are pushed. BTW, where were they installed? Merry Christmas!
Breathe, gayprof, breathe. Enjoy the time away from school, enjoy the love of your family, and, enjoy the magic of the Land of Enchantment.
Safe journey. A Happy Merry to you.
Good luck with the fam and the buttons. Maybe you'll all be too torpid from the tamales to push any buttons. Safe travels.
Merry Christmas to you! I hope that you sister's 60 year old is a hotty (they exist)!
Cheers to grading being done for now! Enjoy your short break.
I can't tell you how many times (when I was single - and maybe a couple of occasions when I was not) when well-meaning friends and relatives professed an interest in setting me up with someone they knew for no other reason than our shared orientation. We'd be perfect for each other, I was always assured. The few times I pressed for a reason the friend and I would be so compatible, they were unable to provide an answer.
And that said, I totally think you should pursue this one.
Happy Mid-winter Holiday of your choice!
Just to let you know, he DOESN'T see you when you're sleeping. He's not a stalker.
Have fun in the Land of Enchantment. I can't wait to hear about your HOT DATE!
Merry Xmas. *smooches*
Happy Holidays, GayProf. May your buttons stay unpushed, unless your date goes really well. ;)
1. i hope you have a wonderful holiday.
2. hey, you're into history and the guy your sister is wanting to introduce you to has lived the history. you have tons in common ;)
i've never had a tamale...living in canada makes getting that kind of stuff (that isn't sold by taco time) rather problematic.
Happy Holiday Professor. The gay surburb by dacaying city is doing Some Man by terrence McNally next month.
Merry Christmas, GayProf! Here's hoping that guy your sister is setting you up with can be that sugar daddy you've been waiting for!
Fleece Na Vidal.
Merry Xmas !
Merry Christmas, GayProf. I'm eating tamales as I type. Life is good! :)
nonsectarian, nondenominational holiday greeting to you as well. Yeah it's a common thing that people assume you put two gay men in the same room and sparks will fly. Hell even I thought that back before I came out to myself.
I hear you, I hear you, I hear you, on the banging your head against the wall stuff. I have 163 essays still waiting to be graded (why do today what you can put off until tomorrow?). And, don't you have only one short week or so for break? Ugh.
Although I know it happens quite a lot for my gay friends, don't think you are the only ones being set up for superficial reasons.
At my friend's wedding a few years ago, I was put at a table way, WAY in the back, with a bunch of almost-still-teenagers because there was a guy I had to meet. Oh yeah, we were going to hit it off according to my bride-to-be friend.
The guy weighed about 380 pounds.
Not that there's anything wrong with that (don't want to be sizeist) but we had nothing in common. Nothing.
Oh, except I was overweight. Because you know, two fatties are great together. And you know, no one else would be interested in either of us anyway.
Some people just don't get it.
Hmm, being nearly a decade shy of 60 gives me hope. When ARE we going to meet, GP?
BTW, that present-tense thing may inadvertently be English's fault, since you talk about texts written in the past as if in an eternal present, so while Charlotte Bronte wrote the novels, Jane narrates, and even events that are narrated as past tense (Rochester fell off his horse)should be discussed in the eternal present (in the scene in which Rochester falls off is horse...").
You of course already know this intuitively, and maybe even explicitly.
But the writing problem may not be a grammar problem, but a genre problem (Hayden White notwithstanding), which is that they read history as story and therefore talk about it in the same way, or alternatively, read fiction as actual, and think you talk about any text that way. I've found that in trying to correct this particular variety of errors on students papers, I have to explain it to them as a genre issue rather than a simple grammar issue.
Anyway, I ramble on with a comment not nearly sexy enough for your fabulous blog, and I'll cease marring its fabulosity with my pedantry.
Ahhh, but did any of yours "get religion" after grades were submitted, and want extra credit in order to pass the class that they failed to attend after the second week?
Sixty years old may be more mature, but they are more experienced, if you know what I mean. Perhaps a brief, but passionate and pornographic fling might be just the thing to make the winter celebration that much more merry?
My favorite rant is "You are writing about PEOPLE and they are DEAD", which rebukes both the present tense and the annoying tendency to write a literary analysis of a primary source "text", as Horace mentioned.
Grading is the reason I quit college teaching. 150 papers per week for six years = near-death.
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