The gradepocalypse is about to begin again. We have six class periods left before finals start, but, unfortunately, I have a lot of seniors in my classes. Why does this matter one might ask? Well, because Xavier does something in the spring semesters that is very tough on faculty members who have a lot of seniors. That is, classes end on April 29, Monday, and Senior grades are due by noon on April 30, Tuesday. This is so that grades can be cleared before our graduation ceremonies.
This means that during the final week I’m not only teaching classes but administering finals to all seniors. It means all papers are due during the last week. It also means I’m administering makeups because lord forbid everyone take the test when it is scheduled, and lord forbid that they wouldn’t be seniors so that they, too, have to have grades in on the 30th. It means that I get a very few days to complete all my grading and turn in grades. And since grades are turned in early, and students get to see them, it means numerous emails and phone calls from students begging for a few more points. Spring is not a good time to be a teacher.
On the upside, though, after April 30th I will be more than ¾ s done with my grading. I only have one actual exam during finals week. I guess we’ll see if I live long enough to enjoy it. In the meantime, let it be known that I will be making only sporadic appearances on the blogs until after May 1st.
I should be completed with ‘everything’ by May 12th and then summer writing begins. I can’t wait.
Let me leave you with a few reviews of various kinds:
The Walking Dead: Graphic Novel series: I’m getting ready to start volume 8 of The Walking Dead graphic novel series. I’ve been a big fan of the TV series since it first aired. Here are my thoughts on volumes 1-7 of the graphic novels. The novels aren’t as good as the TV series to me, although had I read them first I might feel differently. In particular, the absence of key characters in the TV series, Darrell and Merle, takes away some of the enjoyment for me. The Governor is also far less nuanced in the novels and I prefer the TV version. On the other hand, Michone is a more complete character in the novels than in the TV show, although she has been developing more in the last season. The novels are also quite a bit more graphic, which is saying something considering that the show is pretty graphic as well. After the first 4 of the novel series I almost abandoned them, but Lana is reading them and bringing them home from the library, and after reading 5-7 I think I’m finally hooked and will follow the novel series to the end as well.
The Dark Knight Rises: Lana and I finally got around to watching this movie and neither of us cared much for it. The Dark Knight was long enough, but it had an amazing Joker, played by Heath Ledger, and everything made sense to me within the context of the film. The Dark Knight Rises had “Bane,” with a great name and a completely lame characterization. It was also very long, and it won’t leave me with a lot of great memories. The two main problems I had with the movie, though. First, the timing seemed subtly off on everything. It’s hard to explain but things seemed to always happen too late or too early for the plotline. Second, the Bane character just wasn’t used right. At least this is my opinion.
Doc Savage: Skull Island: How could I resist getting a book in which Doc Savage faces King Kong? This is, of course, a modern continuation of the Doc Savage series, written by Will Murray rather than Lester Dent. That was actually an attraction for me, because while I enjoy the original Doc Savage series, I’m not very enamored of Dent’s writing. I also have very much enjoyed Murray’s work on the Destroyer series. However, whether by intent or not, Murray’s prose seemed to echo Dent’s pretty closely so I didn’t find myself getting lost in the prose of this tale. The story started out wonderfully by beginning just at the point where the movie, King Kong, left off. A dead Kong’s body must be hauled off and Doc Savage and his crew get the job. After that, we flash back to Doc’s first meeting with Kong, which took place before he’d even reached the age of 21. I didn’t particularly like the flashback aspect but once we flashed back we stayed there so it wasn’t much of a problem. I did enjoy getting to know more about Doc’s history, particularly with his father and his grandfather, although I thought it took a bit longer than necessary to get to Kong’s island. I’d rather have spent some time exploring and detailing the characteristics of the island itself. I won’t give away the ending but will say that I enjoyed it. It’s good fun, just not as much fun as I was hoping it would be. Maybe I was just expecting too much.