On the end of term

It’s been a disgustingly embarrassingly very long time since I wrote anything here; it’s been an intensive term. It doesn’t feel like it’s been a long term: today, the end of week 13, feels like week 9. I’m behind on marking, sleep, and regular meals; but that’s to some degree “normal.” Bad-habitual, anyway.

The sense of time out of joint was demonstrated this week by forgetting that yesterday was the last teaching day of the term, rather than today. That’s a peculiar feeling. I experienced something like it only once before, when I submitted my doctoral dissertation unintentionally; instead of returning what I’d last submitted with her corrections and suggestions for continuation and so on, my supervisor told me that I’d finished and that The Next Steps were happening, their associated paperwork under way. There’s a slight sense of disappointment, as though I’d been looking forward to extra stress and anxiety and then is doesn’t happen. Deflating. Relieving too, obviously.

So I had to reconfigure what was supposed to be today’s last class at the end of the first term of French for two classes of beginners. Today is also a bridge, via the unspoken and anything but unspeakable—entirely proudly jubilantly perfectly speakably—punning vous faites le fête parfaite, to next term’s continuation of this course, where the first thing we see is the present perfect.

Next (OK, aside from having lunch—yes, at 4:25 p.m., don’t judge me, this is me doing better than usual—and finishing the overdue marking and working on exams and exam guides and planning next term’s work):

  • contemplating squirrels
  • chatting about clothes, maybe also some zoomface makeup
  • communing with those weasels who have been away on hiatus since March as I have been obliged to neglect them (benignly, they’re probably contentedly napping or hibernating right now anyway) as working 25-100% overtime due to COVID-19 emergency onlinising of courses and exams, associated extra research work on online teaching, redesigning FREN 101 and 102 as online courses, coordinating them (between May 2020 and April 2021 that’s something like 36 sections/classes, 1300 or so students, and 15-20 faculty and TAs), teaching in the summer, and teaching this term; there may well be more about all that on here at some point too
  • and meanwhile here’s some virtual mulled wine

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