Sunday, March 02, 2008

A missed milestone, repetition, and the end of an era.

According to Blogger, this is my 701st post. Luckily, around #75 when I started running out of material, you didn't notice — and that's why you're still here, like the sucka you are. Anyway, so much for Magic #700, which I believe is the "meteorite" anniversary.

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My students this semester are great. I have two classes of Grade 9s who are eventually going to be in this somewhat-fancy-pants IB program when they hit Grade 11; as such, they're packed full of keeners, which lets us examine stuff in a little greater depth. The only problem with these classes is that they're bigger than I'm used to — normally I teach the Applied-level 9s and 10s, which are smaller (by design). These two classes, though, are each around 30... which means every time we do a quiz or a lab, I have approximately sixty of them to mark.

I posed this to my students one day: "How long do you want me to spend marking something you hand in?" Most of the kids said somewhere around 4 or 5 minutes; one suggested fifteen. I said, "Alright, with about sixty of you in total, the number of minutes I spend marking each of them is the number of hours it would take me to mark all of them, not including breaks."

I think it finally sunk in how tedious my job can be at times; they only really see me for 75 minutes a day, and maybe here-and-there in the halls. This goes for the majority of society whose only interactions with teachers has been as a student — which is most of us, unless you have a teacher as a family member, a close friend, and/or have occupied their spare bedroom for months-on-end.

Anyway, in this stack of quizzes, I've come across the word "seperate" about threeve* billion times. When I felt the urge to jab at my eyes with my red pen, that's when I figured it'd be a good time to stop for a minute and type something, i.e., this.
* It's a combination of 3 and 5, invented by French Stewart.

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You're no doubt familiar with the URL (or is it "URI" these days?) of this here blog — but, unless you went to Queen's, it probably looks like gibberish. The scoop: when you get a Queen's email address, they give you this code which contains your initials; stick on, and that's your identity for the next few years.

("Queen's University: Where you're not just a name, you're a bunch of numbers and letters.")

Well, because I haven't been a student there in a little while, today is the last day my Queen's email address will exist. It gets obliterated tomorrow, as does a little piece of my identity. I'm not entirely sure why this means anything to me... but it does, and I'm sad to see it go.


Eve said...

I'm losing mine tomorrow too! This sounds like a reason to have a sad little party. Sadly, I'm sure you have to work so I will have to drink alone.

Eric said...

Well Waterloo lets you have your alumni address in perpetuity, if that means anything. Until they change that.