It's another Monday and I'm relaxing after a light dinner. Last night while I was in bed trying to drift into sleep, I suddenly realized that I was unprepared for the start of the work week. I could not sleep much anyway because of eye and face pain. I had already finished up the sinusitis medication but I still had some Tylenol but I was trying to refrain from using it. I think I slept a little but I decided I might as well rise at 4 a.m. and get the class preparation done.
I got to campus early still feeling off with lingering congestion, eye and face pain, mental fatigue and a bit of a headache. I believe there may be some effects related to coming down off the medication, so I continue to avoid taking more painkillers.
Thinking ahead to administering a series of exams this week, I realized that marking some 85 8 to 10 page long exams was going to be difficult for me under the circumstances. I wondered how I could get some help.
I know that some of my colleagues sometimes pay a senior student to mark tests for them. In my case at this point in time, there is no helpful student hanging around as there used to be in the first couple of years at this job. It therefore came to mind to do the unthinkable and ask for help from the office support staff.
Communicating with our English department intern staff can be awkward, so I had a manager in another program call them to make a plea for compassion in my situation, which was fruitful as I received an invitation to go talk to English department staff about my predicament. After invigilating the first written exam of the week and gathering up the completed exam papers, I picked up the answer keys and headed for the English office. There, the staff leader appeared dubious. I could understand her doubtfulness, as anyone would be leery about what pile of paper someone might throw at her next when one already has enough to do. I explained that I would have to wear the eye patch for a few more days, which was making it hard to read a lot, and that the eye strain added to my headaches. I showed her that it was only a stack of some twenty exams, and presented copies of the answer key. She then seemed a bit more confidentt and she agreed to mark half of all my paper tests for all my classes, which amounts to about 40 (320 to 400 pages). Hoorah! That was a feat in the history of the English department and staff relations.
That is how I was able to leave campus early, and sit sipping a cup of hot chocolate at home after work before I took a nap for an hour before dinner. It's such a relief not to have to struggle to mark those papers today or tomorrow, though I'll have some to mark by Wednesday. I'm grateful for the free and freely given assistance that I've gotten this week.
Another good thing happened to me today. I found a bag containing a good used printer waiting for me upon my arrival at the door to my office after lunch this afternoon. I know who left it there and why. It was L completing an errand assigned to him by my former office mate well over a year ago. When that office mate retired, he promised me one of his printers. Not having received it last year, I fumed a bit and installed my own printer from my apartment. It's amazing that this offer of another printer has come up at this time, because mine has been acting up and making some very scary inexplicable noises, so much that I've been afraid to use it more. I had been contemplating what to do, and thinking about buying a new one when L mentioned he wanted to deliver a used one to me. Hopefully, this used one will be fine.
By the way, there was another coincidence with respect to technological gadgets. I really depend on a home computer, but my home system has been acting up. I was able to replace it with the PC from my campus office, because we have been asked to take care of transporting our office computers when it is time to move to the new campus. Problem solved! No need to buy new equipment--yet. anyway. I simply took a laptop to the office and am keeping the university's PC at home for now. Voila!