An online friend (one of those people with whom I've been friendly for years in various online fora, such that I usually forget we've never actually met in person) who moved to the UK a few years ago blogged this morning that he was totally knackered after a very hectic few days. And I thought, "that's the perfect word to describe how I'm feeling; why don't I ever use that word?" And of course the answer is that it's British slang, but today I'm adopting that slang.
Friday and Saturday were Parents' Weekend at FGS, which meant that I was doing lots of song-and-dance in classes (which were spread out over both days) and then having intensive meetings with advisees' parents, plus going to games to see and be seen. It all went really well, such that my biggest disappointment was that, while my classes on Friday were truly excellent, if I do say so myself, my classes on Saturday were only really good. I can probably live with that.
Two of my six advisees are international students, so their parents weren't on campus, and one of the things I have to do in the next couple of days is to write each set of parents a charming, newsy, chatty email full of updates about their daughter. The other four advisees' parents were on campus, and I had half-hour meetings with two sets, and hour-plus meetings with the other two sets. Exhausting!
... but good, actually. This is the first time in years that I have a set of advisees whom I have never taught, and I'm really telling the difference in how long it's taking me to connect with them. Plus, five of the six of them are just quiet and not at all forthcoming, so I'm getting nothing from them. So it was really helpful to have long talks with their parents and get their perspective on what makes their daughter tick. Of course, I now know that two of my advisees whom I thought were just zipping along with no problems actually have quite a few issues, but the end result is that I'm feeling more interested in and connected to these advisees after this weekend, so that's all good, even if I'm having a better sense of how much work they may be.
Plus, for some reason I've just been incredibly slow with the college rec letters this term -- I'm not sure why. But now I've got only two left, and neither of them is applying early decision, so I can just finish them up this week and then be done! And the fact that I'm teaching only seniors and freshmen this year means that, incredibly, I probably won't have a single letter of rec to write next year!
I do still have 41 freshmen papers that I should really grade this weekend -- the students turned them in on Monday, and I haven't even looked at them because I was so hammered with the college recs. But I'm giving myself permission to take a few days longer with them, because I'm really just so very tired.
Here's the lovely thing: We get the Monday after Parents' Weekend off! My plan had been to work like the dickens today and then take tomorrow as a well-deserved holiday, but I woke up feeling like I'd been run over by the truck of tiredness, and it's clear to me that not one school-related thing is happening today. So now I'm enjoying that feeling of luxurious time off that comes with guilt-free non-labor.