Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Night After Finals

The Night After Finals
by Barbara Miller

‘Twas the night after finals and all through the lands,
Instructors were grading with slight cramps in their hands.
And everywhere students were huddled in fear
Knowing that their grades soon would appear.

Instructors were dreaming of a nice and long break
And some longing for all the naps they would take.
With a small glass of whiskey (or large one of wine),
They strove to get the grades submitted on time.

All of a sudden one erupted with laughter.
This next student’s answer was quite a disaster.
The textbook assigned, had they even read it?
Such nonsense was written; it got no credit.

Some students huddled by monitors aglow,
Others were in denial not wanting to know.
Few replayed their finals again in their mind
Uncertain of what comfort there they may find.

Many students were hoping beyond hope to pass,
Some without ever once attending the class.
Now one dubious student, he thought with a smirk,
“I deserve to have my grade without the homework.”

Some algebra, some physics, and thermodynamics!
Some English, some nursing, and celestial mechanics!
From the top of the class, to the ones who just slept,
Now they panic and worry. Mostly they fret.

With eyes starting to glaze from grading the things,
Instructors began to think what boredom it brings
To spend one’s whole evening grading and grading,
But they struggled on through. Their attentions were fading.

The piles were shrinking but not fast enough.
The answers were horrible, the grading was rough.
Some questioned their skill and ability to teach
And wondered why some students were so hard to reach.

Now onto the next exam, no, wait! Can it be?
The answers were right, and the grading: so easy!
The elusive exam brought joy to their hearts
And rekindled love for teaching… well, certain parts.

The night it was waning, the red ink running dry,
And everyone noticed the time passing by.
With the deadline approaching, so quickly it seemed,
New strength was given by coffee, not just its steam.

The last exam graded! Such joy could to be had!
Then thought many instructors, “That wasn’t so bad.
Well, sure some of them failed, but many did pass,
And that’s to be expected from this type of class.”

Most instructors entered grades online in a flash,
But some couldn't log in ‘til they cleared out their cache.
They had one more task to do, an email to write
To tell students they could view grades that very night.

The email was sent, their hearts held no sorrow.
They swore not to check email ‘til tomorrow.
Then some students were glad, some students were scared,
But all were curious to see how they fared.

The students quickly logged in to behold their fate
Some were quite happy; others just stared with bitter hate:
Inside an email their excuses would fester.
Finals are finished, ‘til end of next semester.

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