Thursday, September 09, 2010

Why isn't this my life?

I'm listening to internet radio while trying to grade. They just played "Somewhere" from West Side Story, which I always think of as "The TIAA-CREF song."

The educators' retirement-funding program used to have a series of ads, showing romanticized views of college campuses, teaching hospitals, and such.

You can see one of those ads here

Those ads - I will admit, in my more susceptible moments, they made me cry a little. Because they were such an idealized, gold-tinged view of the campus. You never see the faculty tearing out their hair because (as just happened to me) a teaching assistant informs them on short notice that they can't be available to help today. Or you don't see the student who plagiarized arguing with the faculty member that they 'didn't know it was wrong.' Or the grinding long hours of grading, where students get things wrong that you thought "everyone" knew.

Why isn't my life more like the TIAA-CREF ads and less like, I don't know, a Mike Judge movie based on the funny-to-the-observers crap that happens in the workplace?

I'm just really worn out from this week. Both my TAs have had to leave unexpectedly for crazy reasons this week, I found a badly plagiarized paper, I had a student claim on an exam that "water is a great source of energy in the diet!" (good God, has the "eat nothing" propaganda penetrated this far?), there are certain individuals "above" me who should have the Imperial March as their theme song.

I'm losing the joy of it, guys. I don't know what to do.

1 comment:

Kate P said...

Man, I don't know. Those crappy papers students gave you would certainly get me down. I've got crazy times, too. I try to just say my prayers and tell myself this too shall pass. Hang in there.