Saturday, March 08, 2014

Music Over Movies While Grading

The music listed on the right largely makes up what I have been listening to as I grade my students’ essays. From teaching five sections of writing online, I am usually swamped with grading. This semester I have been reluctant to stay up at night and confine myself to my home office where I do nothing but grade. I much prefer getting to sleep when it is still dark outside. This week I ended up having to switch my hours around because of my backlog. For some reason, it is harder to get the grading done during the day. My grading has been piling up, and I have nights and nights of work ahead of me before I will ever start to catch up.

Blau, Nashaz, and Stoa, by the way, are things I listen to at those times when I am active—washing dishes, cooking dinner, bathing, collecting the trash, etc.

I know some college instructors who prefer to watch vidoes on YouTube or movies on NetFlix while they grade. Dividing my attention makes it more difficult for me to get the work done. I am the kind of person who needs to remain on task. That’s why I often have to shut the door to my office for long periods of time. A meowing cat craving attention can prove to be a big distraction. Without my music, I am often tempted to take a break from grading and start surfing the Internet. Often anything can be more interesting than a freshman or sophomore essay. It takes music to remain focused on what I have to get done and to achieve those daily goals, say, getting six or more essays graded. Some essays, particularly the initial ones in a new assignment, can take up to an hour. Part of that time is devoted to Turnitin while the rest is spent typing up grading comments so as to justify the letter grade. A recent assignment took sixteen pages of comments, approximately nine thousand words divided among forty-two essays.