Grading A Car

This car is responsible for the stack of ungraded papers sitting next to me right now. (click to see larger)Being a teacher isn’t always what it seems.  You may think that I just hang out with Hungarian kids all day.  It might look like I spend half my time learning about a foreign culture and collecting interesting stories.  You may even be jealous that I occasionally have a whole week off of work for a break (like last week – it was Fall Break).

There’s a downside.  I still get homework.

Remember when you were in school and the teacher assigned homework?  Or tests?  Or in-class work?  They had to grade all of those later.

As a student, I was always frustrated when a teacher set the due date for an assignment to right before a break.  That meant I would actually have to work, not just goof around, up to the last minute.  I never realized they were shooting themselves in the foot.  The end result of that situation was that I got to relax over the break, and the teacher was stuck grading my paper(s).This was a very informative sign placed next to the Hungarian highway over and over again. (click to see larger)

Now, I’m on the other end of that.  Fortunately, I learned from the mistakes of those other teachers and I only had the kids turn in a multiple choice test before the break.  It seemed to be a genius move.

That particular test contained phrases about luck, and one of them was “no such luck”.  I’ll use it in an example now.  “Alex was planning on only having to grade a multiple choice test over Fall Break.  No such luck.  Another teacher he works with had assigned book reports to a class, and she tricked him into grading half of them.  They were due the last week of school.”

I could've even graded papers on a small train like this, I'm not picky. (click to see larger)With 18 freshly printed “book journals”, it seemed I would spend my time off hearing what kids think of such classics as Animal Farm, Three Men in a Boat, and Vampire Diaries (wait a second, something doesn’t feel right there…).

As usual, I had a plan.  How my trip was scheduled, there was a 9 hour train ride that I would have to take twice, and there wouldn’t be much else to do.  The only problem is that it would’ve slightly altered the accuracy of the grades because I always board long train rides with a backpack full of beer.  It wouldn’t have been unfair, though, it just would’ve meant that the papers graded towards the end could’ve gotten away with more things.

Anyway, my plan was ruined.  We realized the 9 hour train ride was a 4 ½ hour drive, and it was cheaper to rent a car.  The problem with that plan is that there isn’t enough room to grade in a car, and I would get carsick.  Since I didn’t even want to grade the papers, I didn’t think about the possibility that I couldn’t.  I was much too concerned about the fact that I wouldn’t be able to drink my bag full of beer.

I bet this cat was waiting to get into the car to grade some papers. Probably book reports on Animal Farm. (click to see larger)To make a long story short, fall break is over.  It was fun to have a car, but I still have 18 book reports to grade.  Never trust a teacher – even if you’re a teacher – they’re always trying to trick you.


Hungarian word of the day:


Pronounced “Aw – oo (like the sound a ghost makes without the B) – toe (like the ten things attached to your feet)”.  It doesn’t take a linguist to guess that this means “car”.  Automobile is a fun word to say until you realize that you could say all of those vowels separately.  That’s why everyone should learn Hungarian.