The beginning of finals week is always a period of great unhappiness and stress.

Students look at their grades, seemingly for the first time, and ask instructors to magically save them from the consequences of prior inaction.

Instructors are trying to juggle getting exams prepared with answering last minute questions from students.

Instructors pay for every little delay they’ve made in preparing their grade book.

Departmental administration and college-level administration have to deal with the onslaught of complaints from students about their unfair instructors who are not magically saving them from the consequences of prior inaction. Scheduling stress too, as projections for the fall entering class come in. Sometimes that stress trickles down in, say, my direction.

Not that I should complain too much. I am relatively well-off this end-of-the-semester. I don’t give a final. My students hand in a final portfolio, so yes, I will have some writing to grade, but the portfolio description has been prepared since the beginning of the semester; I didn’t have to write that this week. It isn’t like my students need a lot of help in preparing a final portfolio. I only had four visitors today, and I answered questions on our discussion board.

Mostly for the past two days, I’ve been working on things for our REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) program which starts on June 1, and catching up with some students and colleagues that I haven’t had time for in a while.

Tomorrow during my “final exam” I will finish out the class’s project presentations. We will have pizza, since the exam period is from 12:30 to 2:30 pm, which will be paid by the bursary I earned by doing the first-year seminar class in the fall. Some presentations will be good. Some presentations will be slightly less awesome. The pizza should be delicious.

I hope a few instructor-friends will show up for some pizza and to watch a few presentations. I am looking forward to the end of this semester. My classes were good; my careful attention on keeping it positive made a difference. Aside from that, it was a very difficult semester.