Friday, 19 September 2008

Friday Night Whine

What's worse: actually losing the confidential record sheets of twenty-five students, or merely spending four or five hours believing you have lost them, wasting a lot of time walking around the university guiltily looking in every place you think they could possibly be, and eventually despairingly going through the folder once more and realising you didn't lose them in the first place?

When I thought they were lost and I was walking around looking for them I made a lot of plans: how I was going to try to cover it up by forging student handwriting on a complete new set, how I was going to confess and go around for th rest of the semester with a scarlet "L" stitched to my front, how I would never again take record sheets out of my office (forgetting that they're used at every tutorial), how I would while away the dark hours of horrified insomnia waiting for me.

I think my record maintaining and document safekeeping (as far as teaching stuff is concerned) is pretty good. I have procedures for keeping things together, safe, and in order, instituted after a previous losing something critical incident that I seem to have conveniently repressed clear recollections of - I only remember it was incredibly horrendous and it had something to do with Mildura teaching. I doubt I blogged about it at the time - my very dear reader, you do know that I refrain from blogging about my actual genuine stuffups, I take it ;)

So when I thought my record sheets were not in the folder I expected them to be in it's telling that I didn't just look again, harder, and assumed they were missing. I'm not actually losing my grip yet, I only feel like it's about to happen at any moment.

Madly hanging out for the semester break the week after next.


Bernice said...

On the basis of personal experience, I would recommend 4 bottles of Pikes' sangiovese to consumed by Monday morning. The next two weeks will require regular top-ups to ensure it all passes in a lovely blur.

Another Outspoken Female said...

I lost a student's 3000 word essay once. No idea how it happened but fortunately was backed up and could be resubmitted. I turned my office inside and out in the process and my conclusion was she was skilled and hypnotherapy and had tricked me into remembering her handing in her essay, so she wouldn't loose marks for handing it in late.

Pavlov's Cat said...

I once had my car broken into (smashed passenger window), in what used to be the car park behind what is now Reading's in Lygon St, and my work satchel thingy stolen. It had nothing of monetary value in it but did contain, among other bizarre things, seventeen not-yet-marked (the upside) essays from my Aust Lit second years. This alas was in the late 80s when most students were not yet writing essays on computers and therefore did not have backups, though I had repeatedly told them they should make copies. I gave them the choice of submitting the copy if they had it, resubmitting, or getting the mark they'd got for their last essay.

The bag turned up a couple of months later in the shrubbery of the Melbourne Cemetery. The essays were still in it, but unreadable.

I still don't know what the moral of this story is, and I've had 20 years to think about it.

Mindy said...

If you worked at a particular sandstone uni in Sydney in the early to mid nineties AOF, you could have been got by the student who was caught out by the Arts faculty doing exactly that. She swore to two different lecturers that she had handed in her essay. It was only by chance that they were discussing lost essays, I think one had come to the other at his office and found him searching. So they compared notes and discovered it was the same student. When confronted she broke down and confessed. Apparently it had worked quite a few times before she was caught though.

Miss Schlegel said...

I might try that with my publisher.

Anonymous said...

One of my cousins was told by a teacher when he was in highschool that she had lost his essay. She was very apologetic, he was completely unfussed. Did he have a copy? No. He had another essay entirely. She'd given them several topics to choose from and he'd done more than one of them. Just for fun.

Guy said...

I do that a lot - lose something, "search" for it inadequately, go nuts looking for it in a lot of stupid and unlikely place, before returning to the most logical place for it, searching thoroughly, and finding it.

Usually my sense of frustration is repressed the sense of relief generated by actually finding what I was looking for. ;)