I Should Grow My Comment Bank Beyond 44

Progress Reports are done. My first set of North American progress reports are finished. It is true that I covered a class last term for a few months, but this is my first group of students that have been my own from start to uh, halfway. It did take more effort than I thought, and I questioned my work ethic and priorities as I struggled to get these reports in on time. I’ve known about the deadline for a while, and I’ve bugged my wife over the past few years about not prioritizing her time when report cards came around, so I figured that I should have known better when my turn came. Alas, I was not any better than her. I bumped into a fellow colleague and asked about our inability to get comments done in a timely manner. Her response helped me feel a bit better because she said that it wasn’t that my prioritizing was flawed, but because we spend most of our time worrying and planning for our classes that we focus our energy on the now to make sure the classes go smoothly. Maybe it’s a bit like an avid movie watcher who never watches the reviews and channels their energy into the two hours traffic on the screen.

I did feel a bit better after talking to her about the progress reports, but I also know in my heart that I’ve always been a procrastinator. While I was managing an English Language School in Korea, I had to harp on my staff to make sure they were getting the comments in on time, so I could go over them before they went out to parents. I would try to get my staff to get the comments in at least a week or two early. Not because I wanted to promote good work practices, but because I needed the extra time to get my own comments for the couple of advanced classes I taught finished. I would be lazily/feverishly working on them at the Starbucks in Dunsan, at my buddy’s restaurant, at either branch of the school, at my apartment or anywhere that I could try to focus. Even before the invention of WiFi everywhere, I would find a way to distract myself, so I definitely know how some of my students feel about keeping deadlines.

However, I am getting older, and one day I will be ahead of the game, but for now, I’ll try to remind myself that next time I’ll be ready. Next time…

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