It's the most wonderful time of the year ... finals and grading! Woo! .... no?
Okay, so maybe not the most wonderful time, but there is a light at the end of the academic tunnel. You are almost to that glorious freedom where you will (convince yourself) you have all kinds of time to get all the things done. So, to help you reach the end of the semester I will, in the words of blogger Kylie Soanes, "give unsolicited advice to other academics. Preferably in blog form. Don’t say anything helpful."*
- Hydrate. This is your marathon. Prep like it's one. You know, what? Carbo-load too. Just in case. It might not help with grading, but pasta is delicious.
- Psyche yourself up by stacking all the exams and papers so you can visualize the completely reasonable amount of work to do. Then weep quietly. Regroup. Take at least half your stack and hide it in your desk so you feel like you have already made progress.
- Be elated when you reach the end of your pile of grading. Weep quietly again when you open that desk drawer and find the other stack.
- Netflix. Search for historical anomalies in Stranger Things and call it work. You are a historian after all, and television show accuracy is important. Plus it will give you something to talk about at the next holiday party.
- Only check your email once a day so you don't get bogged down. Okay, maybe once in the morning and once in the evening. Or, perhaps just once each time you need a break. You know what? Just stay logged in.
- Avoid social media. Except to post about your progress and tiredness and your ruminations on why society expects grades as a metric. What does it all mean anyway!?
- Write a blog post for your favorite blog. *ahem. (This won't help your progress, but it will help mine, so...)
- If all else fails just remember that the reality is most students aren't coming back to pick up the final anyway, so limit your notations and get it done.
You are almost to the finish line (to keep our marathon analogy going) and you're doing great! In the immortal words of Dory, "Just keep swimming..." Aw, man. There went the marathon analogy.
* I mean it's probably not helpful, but you never know.