And it never fails. You forget you are collecting papers on a weekend you made a bunch of plans. You will keep your plans and ruin them by worrying about all the grading you need to do, finally get to it the night before you are going to hand them back, only to panic and get pissed off, giving all of your students far lower grades than you might have in a better mood.
But that isn’t the worst part. The worst part happens when you collect them. There are at least 10 students in every class who can’t seem to figure out how to use a stapler. This shouldn’t be a big deal, but somehow it is. It doesn’t matter how you warn them, discourage the practice, rant and rave—several students will want to hand you a stack of loose papers. These just happen to be the same students that can’t seem to put their last name on every page, which means you can’t get away with not stapling them, as those loose pages will soon turn into nonsense without their fellows.
You will then spend the next 30 minutes looking for a stapler because, well, you don’t have one yourself, and anyway, why should you?! These are their goddamn papers!
You will finally find a stapler. It has no staples in it. The hunt continues.
Having accomplished the arduous staple task, you will finally make it back to your desk and collapse in a huff. The last thing you want to do right now is grade those goddamn papers that you’re so pissed off about. So you check your email.
There will be at least one like this:
Never mind that you have a lot of students. Never mind that you might be teaching more than one class. And never mind that this student’s email address pissed you off. He or she doesn’t care.
You will also get at least one email like this:
You will also realize that you left this book at home, and that there is no way to get it back to them on time. You will lose that dollar—a hard earned one at that. It’s not really the money, but the principal of the thing. You needed that book. At least, it feels like it now that they want it back.
You decide that maybe grading is better than this after all, but the first paper quickly changes your mind. You nearly choke with rage.
After a shouting match with your office, you storm around the building, bitching to anyone who will listen about the state of America’s education.
Calming down, you go back to those papers, knowing they will only haunt you more and more until you get through them. You read the next line.