The Starving Artist

Here’s what that hot little red dress looks like by day, and in a larger context. The Starving Artist is brand new, filling the space where the Monadnock Hemporium used to be: in these days of starving stockbrokers, I wish the artists well.

These days, I’m not starving, but busy. It’s Finals Week at Keene State, the last week of the term for one of my online classes, and the penultimate week of the term for the other. This means I spent the first part of this week grading exams, I’ll spend the rest of the week and weekend grading a portfolio pile that looks like Jo(e)’s, and sometime along the way I’ll do a bunch of online grading, too.

Deck the halls (er, shop windows)

All that grading notwithstanding, I actually kind of like Finals Week. (Shhhh: don’t let my students hear me say that, as a bunch of them are still violently stressing over last minute portfolio revisions!) When I was an undergraduate English major, I soon figured out that finals week afforded a big chunk of time (a whole week!) where you could immerse yourself in paper-writing without the irrelevant interruption of going to class. As an instructor, Finals Week is something similar: it’s just you, an occasional student with a last-minute question, and your paper-pile. You don’t have to prep for class; you just have to show up at the various times and places you’ve arranged for paper drop-offs, and the philosophy of “come as you are” rules. While I try to look at least presentable when I teach, during Finals Week I can let myself slump into unrepentant slovenliness: what need is there to shower or wear clean clothes when all you’re doing is grading?

So while it’s true I’ve been bathing, wearing clean underwear, and otherwise taking care of myself this week, there’s a certain luxury in knowing I don’t have to. Instead, all I have to do today is show up at my last scheduled exam, collect the last of my writing students’ portfolios, and steel myself for a long grading weekend. When you look at it in a larger context, it sure beats starving.