10 ways to celebrate the end of grading

GradingLike most college professors the day after finals week, I should be grading. The paper piles, more than half-vanquished but still huge, stare up as I type. Ignoring them, though, I’m sitting at my desk, vacillating between a state of shock that my first year as a tenure-track professor is already over, and fantasizing about what my end-of-grading celebrations should entail.

I need more time to process the one-year-down-five-to-go feelings about the tenure track. Right now, the prevailing sensation is exhaustion. To the bone tiredness. Desperate for an escape fatigue. I’m barely exaggerating. The bags under my eyes speak to the truth.

But, to keep up my courage for the last grading hoorah, I’m instead focusing on the impending rewards of being truly done with this academic school year. To wit: Here are the 10 ways I plan to celebrate the end of grading.

1. Taking down the Christmas tree. What? Don’t all the cool kids still have Christmas trees in their living rooms?  Christmas tree

2. Getting back in the sky. Flying withdrawals are something fierce right now! Planes

3. Planting flowers. Especially the ones I bought three weeks ago and have been barely keeping alive. Flowers

4. Getting back to blogging.  Because there are things I need to tell you! Recipes. Stories. Book reviews. News!Baking

5. All the writing. Because the nerd work and novels have not started writing themselves while I’ve been buried in grading.   Writing

6. Planning adventures. Summer trips aren’t plotting themselves either. We’re heading back to the EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh in July (stay tuned for cool news about that) and I’m hell bent on visiting faraway friends this summer (Kam, FG is coming for you!). Formation flying

7. Making friends with food science.  Can’t wait to up my cooking game.The Food Lab

8. Cleaning the carpets. And the tile. And getting an estimate on grouting the shower. Because, adulting. look-me-adulting

9. All the naps. Because Goliath can’t be the only one snoozing every afternoon. Goliath

10. NOT DRIVING. Because my 10-12 hour a week commuting was putting wear and tear on my car and my soul. Garden art

— dr. shawna

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