So we just had our first midterms for the first-year physics students. I had only a small recitation, but I’m helping my advisor with his lectures, and I have grading. Lots and lots of grading.

Out method of giving grading assignments means a TA has the privilege of grading over 200 show-work problems. Over 200 different handwritings. Oh, and mistakes. But we have to not penalize for carrying a mistake, so we have to decode their errors. Through their “organization” of their work, along with their handwriting. Somehow I can understand why this is what I am paid for in my research.

But I also have the joy of administering another test and grading those results. I had done a similar version of this before, and there was some … paperwork to collect (and yes, that is a Nyan Cat above some of the folders). It was scan-tron  but apparently many failed to fill in the bubbles as needed. (Instructions? What are those?) But I just got that data, and now it needs some fixing and analysis. So … much … analysis…

But at least I have the excuse that this is part of my research. And I can also tell my students that as hard as you worked to prepare for this test, I worked just as hard to figure out what you did. I also get to know how my mother feels with all her teaching work. Oi, the making of future engineers is some great work, isn’t it? And they better make the best bridges ever, or I will freak out!


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