Even though the Doctor who ordered it, Doctor Flaster, is now dead, the people at the clinic want me to go in today for that chest x-ray. And after that I am to go up stairs and make an appointment to see another pulmonary person. I don’t want to do it.
Also I am getting a cold. At least I woke up at about 3 am pouring snot and hardly able to breathe. Let me tell you sneezing inside a sleep apnea mask is not a pleasant experience. In your normal sneeze the expelled matter just goes out into space, but when you sneeze in a sleep apnea mask the damn stuff comes right back into your face.
The sleep apnea mask I have is wearing out and the seal gets lose and makes noises as the air goes in and out. That’s been waking me up, so Carol ordered another one for me. It should have been here by now but it isn’t.
The sleep apnea mask looks pretty grotesque when one is wearing it. It is attached to the sleep apnea tube that runs to or from the cpap or sleep apnea machine proper. The machine that generates the air pressure. I get all tangled up some nights in the sleep apnea tube. On a couple of occasions, I wake up to find it wrapped all around my neck. I don’t know how that happens. It’s a wonder I ever get a night’s sleep; and don’t kill myself doing it.
I have a batch of student papers, 50 of them, starting to come in today. I can’t tell you what I feel. DREAD. Maybe that would do. If I had saved all the paper copies of all the student papers I have responded to since I started grading papers, I would not be able to get into my office. I would open the door and masses of marked up student papers from over two decades of marking student papers would come sliding out. I would get a massive allergy attack from all the dust.
The papers will come in in dribs and drabs over the next three days. I assign a date for the paper to come in and when that date comes I tell the students that they can take three more days to turn it in and not have it marked down. They never believe me when I say this. After class yesterday, a half dozen came up and said, now let me get this straight. The paper is due tomorrow but I can turn it in as late as Friday with no mark down. Yes, yes, yes, I say, over and over again.
I said how come nobody believes me. One student said, your approach is radical.
It’s not. I have come to face the fact over the years that my writing classes rank at the bottom of students’ priority list of things to do. All of their other classes come before my writing class. I know this because I have handed out surveys asking them to list their classes in order of importance and my required writing class comes out last. Every time. So my flex date assignment approach is an attempt to allow them a little time that they might decide to apply in a productive way to the writing of the paper.
But I say, the papers do have to be in by Friday (or whatever day) because my wife and I have plans for the weekend and she will get mad at me if I have to grade papers. This is mostly a lie. I do have a wife, but she wouldn’t get mad at me and usually we don’t have any big plans.