On the bright side,

by chuckofish

I started my “Fall break” yesterday, which technically means that I get off until next Thursday. I need the time as I have a little painting to do and I have to prepare bedrooms for next weekend when son #3 and a friend are coming home for part of his break. But as time off goes, this one is strictly a happy fiction. What it really amounts to is 3 hours and 45 minutes I won’t be in class, plus a couple of hours I won’t be meeting my independent study students. In other words, I actually get about 6 hours off, but, hey, that’s pretty nice. If it weren’t for the grading — something in the range of 65 papers and another 65 quizzes —  it would be a great time.

Nieces and nephew who are in grad school and anyone who has to deal with other people’s writing,  this post is for you.

Last night son #2 (trying to cheer his mother up) commented that grading would be so much more fun if you could use animated gifs instead of comments. Coming up with examples was great fun. The students would love it, too. Wouldn’t you prefer getting this comment


to the usual “awkward phrasing” or “vague language”? Or what about this? It perfectly describes my reaction to the average Sparknotes-derived paper.

parks and recreation

I could have used this one for the paper arguing that Beowulf  was a tragic hero with  “a bloated ego”:

parks and recreation1

And  when words fail me, this gif captures my emotions perfectly:


But  let’s not forget the good papers! I could have fun with those, too.

bilbos partytumblr_nca73pJTZr1sfnk1lo7_250

Grading would be so much better with animated gifs. Alas, I do not have the wherewithal to do it now, but pretty soon pictures will be the only way to communicate effectively with students, who refuse to read, so I suppose the animated gif idea has possibilities. Maybe I should start a business…

One thing’s for sure, looking for appropriate gifs is the perfect way to procrastinate. I have just spent three hours successfully avoiding grading. I’ll do a real post when I have accomplished something substantial — like painting the woodwork in the upstairs bathroom or the ‘back splash’ (?) in the kitchen. In the meantime, you might enjoy wasting your time looking for gifs that capture the feelings you  are trying not need to share.