Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Here Comes Grading

My exams arrived yesterday, so I will spend the next two weeks in the semiannual ritual of grading them. Blogging may be reduced.

As bad as grading is -- and it's pretty bad -- it at least has the advantage that the task is very clear. Most of a professor's life is unscripted. The first task is to figure out what the task is. Professors have to figure out what topics to choose, what papers to write, what subjects to research. And the job is never done, either. Whatever you do as a professor, you could always be doing more -- you could always write another paper, give another lecture, make another appearance, write another book. And that means choosing yet another topic.

The freedom and autonomy of a professor's life is the best part of the job. But let's face it, it can also be a little daunting. Sometimes it's a pleasure to have a clear task before you. So professors, as you moan and groan your way through that pile of exams that never seems to get any smaller, take comfort that at least you know what you have to do.

No comments: