On my lunch hour today I took a much-needed break and went for a hike. At one point I was walking through a fault-block valley with only the footprints of deer and coyote in the snow around me. Horizon to horizon, for several miles, what I could see was not much different from what Jesse James and his teenage buddies saw when they were running through this area a hundred years ago. For a few minutes I could even feel the wind blowing through my head, which maybe doesn't sound pleasant but which is the opposite of stressy-stress regular life (trust me).
Then I got back in my truck and returned to work, where I checked Facebook and noticed a common theme among all my old English-department cronies, most of whom now teach. For example:
"MR was just told by a colleague that has been keeping track of how many essays he's read and graded this semester and it was 379. That's more than one essay a day for an entire year. And this is ONE semester. The punch line? After all of that revision? Still bad essays."
"SS is staring at a stack of 50 essays to be graded by Monday at 8:00 a.m. But first, coffee. And maybe, if I can find a random leftover one around here, half a xanax so I don't have the desire to kill the students I know will ignore everything I've said all semester :D."
Etc. Since every so often I feel moody that I don't still teach, so these posts are a nice reminder of why I am so, so, so, so glad that I didn't go that route.
My top five reasons why I'm glad I don't teach:
1. Reading 379 essays (and counting!) a semester.
2. GRADING those 379 essays.
3. Absolutely having to be at work at a specific time several times a week.
4. Having to perform every day.
5. Ugh. MORE grading.