Grading and BBQ

So Tuesday was grading day. I woke up relatively early, around 8:00, and got ready to go to my friend’s place to grade the pile of exams I had. It was a cloudy day and a bit cooler, well a lot cooler, than the previous few days, but it was still warmish. We had decided to barbecue the rest of the meat from last time as a treat for our grading. If you’ve never graded exams before you wouldn’t know how daunting, frustrating, and mainly boring grading can be. So I was happy that we had devised a plan to pepper the day with FIFA breaks and a barbecue lunch in order to make the whole thing manageable. The weather seemed to be conspiring against the barbecue, but I thought as I was walking to my friend’s house that we can still have the grill outside and just eat indoors, which is exactly what we did.

I arrived to my friend’s house, which is just lovely. It’s nice and functional, although one would need a car or at least a bike to move around, as it is a bit outside the town centre. We chatted for a bit and then started grading. The process was slow. It took longer than we thought to grade each paper. The papers were written in French, or to be more precise I should say in a language that resembles French. The students are first years in the French department. That made for a few giggles that kept us going throughout the day. We realised that a lot of them got gender wrong almost systematically. In fact, one of the students I graded got it wrong every single time. What was interesting though is that most of them would make mistakes with gender over 50% of the time. There wasn’t really any reason we could find for that, they just seemed to be more likely to make mistakes when it came to gender identification (now I think I deserve a bit of credit for not making the obvious joke that this is the result of us living in a post-gender world where assigning gender to objects is archaic, obsolete, and in many ways sexist. I know it is a hilarious joke and yet I chose not to go there because it was too obvious and expected). As the day wore on it became clear that the grades I was giving were higher on average than the ones my friend was giving. Now I don’t know if this is because I’m too lenient (it probably is), or because I just happened to have a better batch (it really isn’t). So I hope that doesn’t produce too much extra work for the module convenor.

Lunch was quite satisfying. His girlfriend came back for lunch, she had an exam. She seemed satisfied with what she did. We watched with her a series she follows. It happened to be the season’s finale, we’re not sure if it was also the series finale. And then went back to grading. We played a few games of FIFA throughout. I think we ended up with a draw. We couldn’t finish all the papers by the end of the day, but we at least got through most of them.

We then passed by another friend’s place to say good bye to one of the exchange teachers (lectrice) who come here from France for a year to teach. I just stayed for 10 minutes as I needed to finish up the grading and get ready, maybe even start writing the chapter (I didn’t start writing the chapter). All in all quite a productive day. I didn’t have time to go to the gym. I went on Monday and was quite happy because I lost half a kg, even though I didn’t go quite so regularly last week. I’ll go on Wednesday and work out properly then.

Other than that I just watched the first episode of season 5 of House and that seems to be just as good as it’s always been. Hugh Laurie is a fantastic actor. Also, we might have figured out a way to publish the podcast for a lot cheeper than 120£ a year. If that is possible than the podcast might be up soon. I need to get in touch with people and see if it feasible. I miss my friend who’s in Paris, we were able to have a quick chat on Monday before my supervision. I hope to talk to her soon. Moving is such a horrible mess, especially if you are moving to another country.


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