|pepperminting via Pixabay|
Never bet a Jersey girl that she can't do something. She'll either correct you (I could do that if I wanted to) or set out to prove you wrong. In the case of the Thanksgiving challenge, I won the bet.
Sometime before I graduated -- or maybe it was when I was in grad school -- Bucknell instituted fall breaks, a decision all of us appreciated. Ironically, many years after my own freshman year, my daughter ended up choosing a college that didn't have a fall break either. Her freshman year, she decided if I could make it until Thanksgiving, so could she. So, like me, she saw her parents at Parents' Weekend in October and kept herself busy every other weekend between late August and late November.
Now a senior, she still doesn't have a fall break, but I do. This time, I'm on the other side of the desk and I have hurdles to clear in the form of papers and midsemester warning grades. I also managed to end up with not one, but two writing deadlines mid-month and this sundry collection of tasks stands between me and fall break at the beach like a succession of unwelcome dominoes. I have only myself to blame, since every single domino was my idea in the first place.
Yesterday, I was feeling the crunch. Unlike the pleasant crunch of leaves beneath my feet (which we've yet to feel here in Central PA as we had temperatures in the high 80s as late as last week), this time crunch makes me grouchy and leads to me doing things like yelling at my computer screen because MS Word is somehow displaying all of my formatting and I don't know how to make it go away. (I eventually figured it out).
I thought I was alone in this (the dominoes, not the yelling at my computer) -- that everyone else was somehow more organized and on the ball than I. But then, this afternoon, I sat in a meeting with a small group of colleagues as we tried to plow through a task. A little more than halfway through the meeting (which wasn't that long to begin with), everyone ran out of steam. We pooled our resources, wrapped early and scattered to our various tasks, the clock ticking toward our deadlines.
Apparently something about misery really does love company, at least in this case. It's nice to know that on this beautiful, dare I say perfect fall afternoon, other instructors are huddled over laptops, papers and lab reports, wishing for a deadline that's just a little bit later than the one we've been given.
|Engin Akyurt via Pixabay|
And, for the next several days, that is my task. I simply need to show up, ready to read, grade, calculate and, if necessary, warn that the second half of the semester will require a little more effort than the first.
When I put it that way, it doesn't sound so bad. And it sounds a lot better knowing that, even though I can't see them from my vantage point, my colleagues are showing up, too.