As much as I like my students, I'm always excited when the semester ends because that means a new semester is about to begin. And, somewhere between the two, I might actually have a couple of days where I don't have to do ANY coursework, though I will be setting up my spring courses, making out schedules, etc. But I can glean several days where I'm not tied to the computer grading papers or answering endless frantic emails about why someone didn't submit an assignment, or how I just HAVE to pass someone because he/she NEEDS to pass the class to keep his/her scholarship, financial aid, job, whatever.
I think, over the holidays, I'm going to work up a Word file of standard replies. Then, when I get these kinds of emails, I can just cut and paste my responses. It will cut down on the time required to respond to emails.
Another thing I think I'm going to do is make a list of "Ms. Smith's Acronyms" so I can just use initials instead of spelling things out, kind of like text messaging abbreviations. For example, "NMM" stands for "Not My Monkey," which, translated, can mean several things, depending on the context. It could mean "Not my problem," or it could mean, "I don't know what you expect me to do about it," or it could also mean, "I don't care why you didn't submit the work; I'm not grading it." See what I mean?
And "NSS" stands for "No S**t, Sherlock," meaning that the statement (usually the thesis statement in an essay) is so obvious that it doesn't need to be written. An example of this is, "William Shakespeare is considered one of the greatest writers of all times, and that means that 'Othello' is one of the greatest plays of all times." Trust me, I get these all the time. [I have to credit my friend, Nicole--she uses this in her classes, and, when she mentioned it, I thought I'd borrow it.] A good translation, and a more polite one, would be "Duh."
Another of my favorites is "SOL." The polite translation is "So out of luck," but it really translates to "S**t out of luck," which means, of course, that the student's goose is cooked. It's one of my favorite acronyms, really, and I try to use it whenever I can.
That would be fun for me, but I hope my students have a collective sense of humor. And, even if they didn't--my class, my rules.
Now just to get all of these assignments graded, grades posted and turned in. Just a week to go. Whoo-hoo!