Friday, April 10, 2015
Mortimer Brewster Has Come To Us For Career Advice, Because We All Clearly Have Made The Right Choices.
On the first exam, I'd say I was tough but fair, wrote careful comments, and ended up with a range of grades spread between 32 and 98. Average was 65 and most common score was 58, so not an easy exam. Prof. Xanthippe tinkered with every single grade and added more comments, and the end result was a spread between 30 and 94, with an average in the high 50s. I'm accustomed to this regrading, but does always leave me feeling like I've wasted my time.
Then, since the students obviously didn't do very well, Prof. X. added a bunch of new assignments that were not on the original syllabus, and though they won't count in the final grade, X still wants me to assign a numerical grade and provide copious comments. What X never seems to understand is that this class is a 100-level gen-ed that attracts a number of apathetic students. The best students completed these "optional" assignments, and everyone else ignored them. Meanwhile, Prof. X has been pressing me to finish grading so that my grading can be reviewed. I should mention that I've been both sick, and consumed with finishing a large project for my other job this week.
I'm pretty easygoing and don't really need ownership of the grading, but in a busy and tiring week like this one, having to *pre*grade before Prof. Xanthippe *re*grades assignments that weren't even on the original syllabus gets to me. This might chafe less (though probably not) if I were new at the job. But I've worked well with other professors over the years, and even taught my own classes as an instructor. As my old coworker Paddy used to say, "this ain't my first rodeo." I've been around long enough to know that you don't change the syllabus/assignments in the middle of the semester, and that students will stop reading the comments on their assignments if they are an unending stream of corrections.
I'm puzzling over whether to renew my contract for next year while I finish my dissertation. I've tried desperately to get a full-time job (of any kind), with no luck so far. I've even considered commuting 3.5 hours back to my previous job, where I was valued. I know my old boss would be happy to have me back, but the commute won't really work. I'm guessing I will renew *and* keep looking, and hope to find something else before the next academic year starts. Breaking my contract might piss off Xanthippe, but then I'm not really sure I'm wanted back (except by the rest of the department). Ugh.