I realized this morning this was my last day of actual teaching for this semester - Wednesday and Friday, the one class does their presentations of their research and Thursday I give the last hourly exam in my two classes. So I'm fundamentally done.
I also graded the lab books and the final papers for the classes that did them, so that's done.
I dunno. I guess I feel relieved this semester is over. I had one pretty good class and one that....just didn't go well. I feel like I didn't teach as well as I could have. But also, I think some of the students were either just burnt out, or maybe some of them taking advantage of the fact that we've been pressured to show "mercy," which for me often takes the form of generous extensions on things (so I am ALWAYS grading and it feels I am never done, and I dislike that).
But at least tomorrow, Thursday, and Friday, I can leave a bit earlier in the afternoon. I mowed the lawn today, and am contemplating if we get a bit more good weather, I might do more yardwork and maybe get some bedding plants to make things look nice. (Though in a couple weeks, I am going to visit my mom - I have hanging baskets I may have to give to someone to "babysit" for me, depending on what the weather forecast looks like).
Some years I feel happy that the semester is over - things went well, I feel like the students learned well and did good work. The past few semesters have felt a little empty because of the pandemic stuff. Things are (for now at least) beginning to normalize - I can't remember if this is the first time since fall 2019 I did the presentations or not (I didn't schedule them fall 2020 because we were going all online after Thanksgiving....(Though now I checked: I did do them in fall 2021, so I guess this isn't the FIRST time back).
Friday is the deadline to sign up for graduation. It's not required, and I don't know. If it were outdoors I'd 100% go - we did 2021's on the football field, well spaced, and it was fine. But they've gone back to inside the basketball arena, and while it's a big space with a high ceiling, there will be literally thousands of people from *all over* there. And I don't know that I feel like being the only, or practically only, masked person present (which I probably would be). I'd also be more sanguine about it if I didn't have plans to travel less than a week after, to go see my 85-year-old mother. Yes, we're both vaccinated - but the new variant that's starting to spread (not really *here* yet, but still) is even more infectious and seems to be able to sneak past vaccines to cause symptomatic infections.
If the pandemic weren't a thing, I'd absolutely go - it's a good way to end the semester - but the fact that the UK and the northeastern US is seeing another wave start gives me pause. I guess I'll wait and see if there's a frantic message from my chair saying "no one signed up!" and then I'll cave and do it. And probably wear a mask, even if I get disapproving looks from some for it. (This sort of thing is VERY hard for someone who gives a hard damn what other people think of her, even if the opinions of people who think wearing a mask yourself now is foolish shouldn't matter to me)
But that is one thing that's been hard through....all this. Loss of the ways I have of marking the seasons: graduations, and holidays, and some of the things I used to go and do. I'm slowly getting some of that back (being able to go visit my mom, for example), but other things are slow to return. Maybe someday? Or maybe never, given that it seems to just be wave after wave, and you never know what infection you get may give you permanent damage, it seems...