It is finals’ week – again.
To every person who lives in the United States, tax day comes once every year, on April 15, but to a professor who teaches on the quarter system, finals’ week comes three times a year. Both events cannot be avoided.
What happens on finals’ week? On finals’ week papers are due, exams are given and taken, professors take time to read papers, and professors who blog are unable to post every day.
This is what is happening to me this week, something that will continue for several more days.
Actually, finals’ week will be next week, but papers were due last week and this week. Exams will be given next week.
For the past several days, I have been reading and grading (or marking, as they say in some parts of the world) papers. This quarter I have to read about 40 papers. Each paper averages 15 pages; some are longer. This means that I have to read 40 papers or more than 600 pages in two weeks. After I read them, I write an evaluation for each paper, explaining to my students the strengths and weaknesses of their papers.
I enjoy reading my students’ papers. A research paper is a way to help students focus on their learning and demonstrate their ability to do independent study. Some students do not like writing research papers and that is evident by the quality of their papers. However, in the end, every student realizes that they learn much from researching and writing their papers.
Since I will spend the next several days reading papers and grading the work of my students, my blogging will be sporadic. I enjoy blogging, but my work with students comes first.
A few days ago, one of my students asked me to write a post on a specific topic. I will try to use the break between quarters to address this student’s concern.
Many of my posts come from my dialogue with students in class. As they ask questions and raise issues, I try to address those issues by writing a post to answer the concerns expressed by the students.
In order to help my students and readers of my blog, in the next several weeks and months, I will develop a catalogue of the series I have written so that it becomes easy to locate them. For instance, I have written more than a dozen posts on the prophet Jeremiah, and these posts are scattered throughout the almost 2000 posts that I have written over the past five or six years. If these posts were to be listed together, it would be much easier for my students to read everything I have written on Jeremiah when I teach Jeremiah in 2013.
So, I may not be posting every day this week or next week, but I want you to know that I am alive and well, hiding somewhere in my office reading and grading papers.
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary