Monday, October 5, 2009

Two More Weeks!

I have only two more weeks of torture left--with a few days of furious grading to follow, so that I can turn grades in and be done with two classes. It wasn't the students--they were great, even if so many of them turned everything in late. It was just the school requirements, for these are online classes, and they are packed with so much work for the students to do--and for me to grade--that I could barely finish one grading project before I had to start another one (I'm sure the students have felt the same way--that as soon as they get one project done, they have another due). 

Overall, it's been pretty stressful, and not nearly as rewarding as I'd hoped. And I earned craptacular pay for it, too, a reality which makes it highly unlikely I will ever do such a thing again--ever. 

I soon start two more classes, also online, but with a completely different college. I am not sure, but I believe they will turn out well (especially in comparison). I'm prepping for those right now, and also madly grading for the other two courses, so I still may be in here sporadically for a few weeks, at least until the stress classes are over.

Have you ever noticed how the things you most love often come with corresponding thing you hate? For instance, I love teaching writing. I love teaching it almost as much as I love doing it. But I hate grading. Yup, detest it. I hate seeing a paper as "over," or "finished," and assigning a grade to it, like the student has no hope of ever doing better. Unfortunately, even with some modifications I've made to the paper-grading process, the grade must eventually be assigned. And I loath that part, and likely always will (unless I become some sort of maniacal old blue-haired English teacher who resents her students and loves giving F's).

It's the same with writing. I love to write. I love the whole process of it--writing down random ideas, outlining, planning, writing scenes, scrapping whole chapters, revising, adding details--but I absolutely detest sending my stuff off to publishers/contests/agents, etc. I cringe with every stamp I lick, shake my head as I write the SASE, fold it carefully, and take the whole mess to the post office. 

I suppose I'd be happier if I loved these parts, but I also wouldn't be me. It's the sensitive, creative side of me that hates these things, the part that says nothing should ever be finished, that we are always growing, and F's and rejection slips do nothing but stifle that growth. Then again, fear of F's and rejection slips may spur us on to work harder, try more, and revise again and again.

Perhaps they aren't so bad after all. What do you think?


  1. I am so with you. It's the marketing part I hate. Makes me tempted to forget it entirely and just write quietly at home for the rest of my existence and stop worrying about finding a market.

    I don't even want to think about it.

  2. I'm with you on the grading - I have a stack I could have should have tackled today ... I read them with interest - seeing what/how they are thinking is great - but having to actually sit down and assign marks, not so fun.

    Guess that will be what I do on the way to Peterborough tomorrow; got to have them done to give back on Wednesday.

  3. In writing for the first time, I felt for the first time in my life, the feeling of being self conscious about something. I have always felt like I could do anything, and nothing was beyond my grasp.
    But trying to read my own work to judge it is impossible for me and I must rely on others to give me an opinion which leads me to feeling inadequate. That drives me insane, I have never felt this before and so far I have not coupled well. But I am learning and trying to overcome this...

    That is what I hate most, and in turn it drives me to edit and keep editing.
    I know I will love the part about sending out my book, because if I get to that point I will know it is worthy to be published. It’s just getting there.

    but like you said, things we hate are not that bad if we skew our vision of them. so doing those items or not so draining of life.