We collected the GIS paper reviews this week - we require the students in the class to find (and have approved by us, to be sure it contains enough detail) a paper using the methodologies they are learning, and to summarize it, discuss the data sources, discuss the methodologies, and critique the paper.
Grading these takes a long time, as it is necessary to read the research paper *first* before reading the student's write up. (Though this year, there were two sets of people who somehow wound up with the same paper. That's okay; they both wrote different write-ups).
I got about half of them (it's an 18 person class, but it looks like not all the papers were handed in Tuesday) done with a first read-through and comment-application last night. (That was ALL I did from the time I got home around 3. Each paper takes a solid half-hour to get through).
As a result, I had an anxiety dream unlike any I've had in a while. It was a student-anxiety dream. I was in some class where we were expected to write reports on some stuff, only we didn't have all the sources. We were supposed to use stuff like Chaucer in the original language (which none of us know) and sources from the fabliaux of Middle-Ages France. (It's been several days since I glanced at the "Medieval Comic Tales" book I got from Folio, but I suppose that's where THAT came in). Not having access, the person in charge told us to "just make stuff up and make it sound good" and that really bothered me. I knew it was wrong, I knew I didn't want to do it....but there was apparently no other way to get a good grade.
Then I woke up.
It's funny. I wonder if people who haven't been associated with academia for a long time (like, someone who graduated college 35 years ago) still have those kinds of dreams or if they're largely a feature of the lives of people who are in the classroom all the time. (And I wonder: back in the era before widespread education, what kind of dreams like that did people have, I mean those kind of vague-but-not-really-life-threatening anxiety dreams).
More often lately though my "classroom dreams" have been with me in front of the classroom, and either something goes horribly wrong (power outage in the middle of an exam that is dependent on students identifying species from projected slides) or the class being awful, rowdy, and rude (or one person being that way: I had a dream not too terribly long ago about one student getting right up in my face and screaming at me)
I don't like dreams that are too much like my daily work.
And an odd little thing about the funny way my brain works. I get both Signals and Wireless catalogs, which sometimes have amusing t-shirts in them. Well, this time, there was a mock periodic-table one featuring "Meh," the Element of Indifference.
And immediately I thought: That would be like a very bad alternate-ponies universe. (And what would the cutie mark on a Pony whose element was the element of indifference look like?)
In that bad alternate universe, there would also be the Element of Futility. (I bet a person could keep going and get six sad, bad, and dangerous to know ponies. I could see the Element of Entitlement being a white unicorn named Snowflake....)