In the red zone…

This term has been rough for a couple of reasons, and scheduling has been one of the main difficulties.   This blog is one of my methods of teaching self care, and timing has gotten weird. I find that I’m behind on both my grading and my sleep.  I’m hopeful that time will be working out better soon.

Things have been busy this quarter, I’ve found myself swamped.  I have had to get back to basics when it comes to teaching.

For some teachers “back to basics” means working with rote assignments, or teaching from lesson plans, or evaluating their scaffolding.   For me it means something different:   Watching horror movies while grading.

After classes, it takes a few minutes to sort out assignments and cue up the movie.   As the ominous credits start to roll, I set up my rubric.   I can usually grade an entire set of midterm exams in a feature horror film.

I like big brains and I cannot lie...

Torture, rivers of red, disaster… all made better by simple cinematic violence.

I don’t know how else to put it, but there is nothing that quite puts errors on paper into perspective as watching someone being dismembered on screen.   Something about bone chilling terror, apocalyptic disasters, and pain, help the process of grading and giving constructive feedback so much easier.

I do sometimes wonder why this is.   It could be that perspective of cinematic disaster makes seeing academic disasters easier.   Or perhaps it is comforting to think that the shallow (if pretty) characters on screen are getting bloodied for their insipid behavior.  Probably its just my taste for horror and the macabre that I don’t get to indulge inside the classroom.

Students:   I love you all, but sometimes I need to stab your tests until it stops hurting.  I’ve already gone through three red pens this quarter.    And be glad you don’t have to watch me grade… that would be more terrifying than J-Horror.

Now we are in the last few days before finals, which means that students and teachers alike are stressed out…

… so take some time…

… find your happy place…

… and breathe.

The quarter will be over soon.   Spring break is just around the corner, and a new quarter can begin the cycle anew.

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