Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Where is Everybody?

What does one do when she or he is sick of grading exams, avoiding writing a paper, and generally trying to evade the demands of everyday life? One goes on line and reads what other people have to say.

Except today, with a few exceptions, everybody seems to have fallen silent. Why? I needed some assistance with my procrastination and only a few of you indulged my needs.

So it was off to Plan B: let's do our taxes! Now you know you are REALLY sick of grading when doing taxes is a better alternative. I even managed to do my Rhode Island state taxes, which by the way is quite a trip down bureaucracy boulevard. Fortunately, Washington State has no state income tax.

The bonus of the evening was to discover that we will actually get a refund, both from the Feds and the state of Rhode Island. Not much, but money flowing in is always welcome. See, as a graduate student I usually got a stipend from some sort of grant or fellowship. While this money is taxable, they don't withhold taxes. So come every April, I had to scrounge around to find enough change under the couch to pay a year's worth of taxes. Having your taxes withheld works much better. Now I could go on for a long time about the inherent unfairness of taxing people who are in school with barely enough money to live while there are corporate swine evading their taxes (we can thank the Reagan Revolution for that change in the tax system) and I could also rant about how depressing it is that the money I did pay in taxes is being grossly misused for all the wrong purposes by our lovely government, but I won't.

Taxes are done, and that is that. The exams are still not completely graded, but I am slowly making progress. It is better that I take my time. If I grade for too long, I get cranky and the grades start to plummet. So it is in the students' best interest that I don't get cranky (and in reality mine too, because with low grades you get a long line out your door with students questioning their grades).

I am certainly ready for Spring Break. It's less than a week away. The scary thing is the amount of things I need to get done before then.

And once again, thank you all for helping me avoid my grading... [please note the caustic sarcasm here]

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