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 @queensu.ca, 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.

2 comments:

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.