Thursday, April 16, 2009

Musical exams

Every time I have a stack of exams to grade, the gods above decide it's time for the noise to begin. Last time? A St. Patrick's Day Parade. This time? A domestic squabble - not the call-the-police-omg-are-these-people-OK? kind, just the woman-yelling-man's-name-in-annoyed-voice-and-yelling-in-what-might-be-a-language-from-former-Yugoslavia kind. What is it about the act of removing exams from an envelope that provokes such sounds? Regular grading (essays, homework and the like) sets forth nothing more than the usual car alarm or boisterous Little League Parade. But exams, they're something else entirely.

I suppose that would make this the time to invest in those hideous rubber ear inserts intended to bring silence and serenity to just these situations. But I just invested a whopping $4 in a strap-of-jersey-cloth headband, the kind that were really popular circa 1991, which will prevent me from using 'my hair's now too short to go into a ponytail' as an excuse not to work out. And In This Economy, for this grad student, that's enough shopping for the week.

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