Well, we're coming up on the bum end of the semester -- a rotten time for students who have lots of assignments due, and a rotten time for teachers who have lots of marking to do. My marking looms over me like a spectre. When I want to write, I think about my marking. Marking hangs over everything. Really, I should just sit down to do it, but this week I don't have much. I have a few late assignments, and even a couple of early ones, which is a surprise. Next week, though, I will be eating, breathing, and sleeping marking. I've had years, when I've had big classes, where I finished at 3 am the night before I had to hand it back, and then got up again at 5 just to make sure it was all done. But I try not to manage my week like that. Partly I've managed to reduce my end-of-semester load by pulling some of the word limits down by making some of this work due earlier. It's all a matter of time management.
As a 0.4 teacher, I get paid 3.15 hours of marking and preparation time a week. In all likelihood, next week I'll spend more than 20 to 30 hours marking. So it really is a matter of doing it bit by bit. But to compensate I'll have the long stretch over summer with no marking. If I'm smart, I'll use this prep time to make a big leap into next year's preparation, especially as I look likely to be teaching a new subject: Poetry. (Well, new for me.) Some of my friends teach the same subjects every year. Some teach new subjects every year. I must say I fall more into the first category. I am one of two Editing teachers, and coordinate the subject. And Novel makes a great counterpoint. I've taught a few other subjects along the way (though none put me out of my comfort zone like the one over in Liberal Arts did last year -- but that was a great experience in its own way). I think Poetry will complement the other two nicely and am quite excited about teaching it.
It's always more work teaching a new subject, but offers me a boost in other ways. The extra prep keeps me up-to-date with something I might otherwise have let slip. And makes me get back into the practice of it. For example, I haven't looked at any poetry theory for a few years. Now I'll be digging out my texts, and even better will have an excuse to go out and buy some more books! Yay.