On Tuesday, I spent most of the day collecting take-home final exams and essay portfolios from my classes at Keene State, where an almost-constant sound of chainsaws chronicled the final cleanup of the Silver Maple that had fallen on Monday. As much as I hated to see the rest of Old Silver fall to the chainsaw, I knew it was coming: once the cable snapped that held his four trunks together, there was nothing but brittle wood supporting the rest of him. Having half a tree leaning precariously close to a classroom building is too risky for even a tree-loving campus, so we either watched or kept one another informed as Old Silver was incrementally reduced to a big fat stump. There but for the grace of Gravity go us all.
Now that I’ve collected those take-home exams and essay portfolios from my Keene State classes, I’ve spent the rest of the week either grading these assignments or keeping up with my SNHU Online classes, which are in the second week of their term: as usual, as one of my semesters is ending, another is just beginning. At this time every year, I automatically slip into Grading Mode, a hyper-focused state which is an effective way to read lots of student papers but isn’t very conducive to social interaction or having much of interest to say on-blog. This afternoon, I submitted two batches of final grades, and I have one last pile of student portfolios between me and Tuesday’s grading deadline, when my summer officially begins. While I continue with my nose to the grading grindstone, here are a handful of pictures from the rain-dotted Hostas in our backyard, which I shot this afternoon while taking a break from my paper-piles: a visual break from the grading-grind.