The entire weekend has been devoted to marking mock exam papers for my teaching groups. I have two weekends (plus evenings of the coming week) to get through this pile... and I allocate myself targets and try to exceed them slightly. This weekend I have marked pretty much non-stop. My target was to halve the load, so I am pleased to have whittled away at an extra ten. The slight drawback is that marking so intensively makes me feel sick. I mean this literally. I actually start to feel nauseous and can reach a point where I just have to stop and go and lie down. Marking can be a soul destroying task. Of course there are those which are cogent, perceptive and well structured, they don't quite compensate though for the ones that make me tear out my hair over the quality of thought and expression and wonder if I should just throw in the towel. It is also just horrible to lose the entire weekend to marking the stuff. The only down time I had was a visit to the gym yesterday evening and a walk around the park in the snow, featured below, this morning.
The snow transformed everything today. It was so cold and crisp and beautiful in the sunlight and I took some bread and fed the ducks, and also the gulls who were so hungry that they dive bombed into the water for bread and sometimes caught the falling pieces mid air, thus depriving the ducks whose quacking seemed to my imagination to take on an increasingly indignant tone with every piece of bread which was intercepted in this way. It is sad to say that this was the highlight of my weekend.
If I can do just a few scripts every evening this week, next weekend might just be bearable.