So, we got back from Seattle on Sunday night to learn that the shower and bathtub (two different bathrooms) were backing up and that my mother-in-law had been unable to bathe and was rapidly unraveling as a result. Poor thing! Plumber came on Monday, did some snaking and some other stuff, and now we are moving smoothly. That night, I stayed up laaaaate to grade papers, then was so delirious that I was convinced that the plumber was coming back to rob us. After all, he’d seen my laptop! and our two cheap TVs! and … my books! We are targets! I hid my laptop in my dresser and my purse in the closet when I finally went to bed, then lay in the dark, twitching at every creak and rustle. (I should also mention that I barely slept on Sunday night as well, due to jetlag — yes, totally lame to get jetlag going from PST to CST, but I somehow managed to do it.)

Finished grading last night — of my 20 students, 2 got Ds and 3 got Fs. I have second- and third-guessed myself on these grades, but every time I attempt to reconsider, I see all the glaring flaws all over again and can’t bring myself to change the grades. I know there will be tears in my office over these grades, and I am facing some really hard truths about my teaching. There is absolutely no reason why a full quarter of my students should be turning in below-average work. Obviously, mistakes have been made on both sides of the gradebook; it’s now up to me to do some re-tooling, pedagogically, and evaluate how I communicate expectations and ensure that I’m properly equipping my students with the tools they need to write successful papers in a lower-division undergraduate rhetoric course. (You might hear some eye-rolling in that last sentence.)

I am really behind on the reading for my Thursday-night class, called Rhetoric and Identification. I didn’t read any of the material for last week, as we were in Seattle, and now I realize that everything we’re reading from here on out is based in the Freud I didn’t read last week. Also, I have to revise my second paper for the class, which was handed back without a grade with the edict, “more, more, MORE!” Gah.

You can’t get blood from a turnip, is all I’m saying. But somehow, I will find that “MORE!” Who needs a life when you’ve got Kenneth Burke, Sigmund Freud, and Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen to keep you company? I’m sure Matt won’t mind another night alone in the bed while I toil in the livingroom.