Wednesday, March 05, 2003

On Time

Grades were due today at noon -- the reports digitally, the actual grades on paper to the Registrar's office. I tend to procrastinate not just up to but past the last minute, and am generally notorious for getting them handed in last and holding up the whole report card process, but this term I was only teaching sixteen kids in a single minor course in Mass Media Messages, and so it took only two hours this morning to crank out and submit the grades. Thank goodness I remembered to ask each student to write a short paragraph saying what they learned and what they thought they deserved for a grade; most of them were right, so I just cribbed off each student's own self-analysis to write my own 'graph, which makes the whole process much easier.

It felt weird to be on time. I'm not, usually. I tend to be early for dates and appointments, and late for deadlines. Some of that's just ADHD, coupled with a general tendency to work best under overwhelming time pressure. Some of it's the reactive result of having parents who were punctual with bills but never made it in time to see a movie's opening credits.

But some of it's just the lack of a watch.

I used to run through a new watch every four months -- I have low appendage awareness, less kindly known as Stupid Clumsy Oaf Disease, and tend to gradually scrape the faces off of watches. I stopped wearing a watch regularly several years ago; it was getting too expensive. I'm still hard on my stuff -- I go through a few pairs of sunglasses each summer after sitting on them or worse, and tend to buy two good pairs of shoes at a time to get me through a school year. But knowing what time it was had become such an expensive pursuit, back when I was out of work after college, and then there I was suddenly in an environment where it no longer needed to be my problem. When you work at a school, in classrooms with clocks, in front of computer screens, back and forth in the car with the dashboard time-and-temp display, you don't need a watch -- time is there, wherever you go. And now I don't get a watchband tanline in the summer.

At the mall this afternoon, for where else can you wander without having to stuff the baby like a sausage into her outdoor clothes, some lady asked Darcie and I what time it was. We didn't know, and didn't need to know, and said so, grinning at this middle-aged woman's confusion. Hooray for vacation.

[Glossary note: at NMH, minor courses from Chess Club to Chinese Cooking to Film Analysis to Study Methods and Writing Help meet in the afternoon once or twice a week while most other students are participating in competitive sports; it is our elective curriculum, you can't assign homework, and it doesn't even end up on the permanent transcript. By comparison, in our block-schedule, block-calendar school year, students take two major courses every ten weeks, and each meets for two hours a day, every day, with two more hours of homework for each class that evening.]

posted by boyhowdy | 11:33 PM |

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