Today, I will be proctoring two of the four exams I am offering this term. One is at the institution that offers my primary employment for a little longer; the other is at the community college where I picked up a class for a bit of added income. They are substantively similar assignments, both asking students to reflect on how instruction might be improved. From what students have told me thus far, since I have encouraged them to take ample notes and to discuss their note-taking with me, many are focusing on job-related ideas. That is, they are looking to suggest that the course sequences in which they find themselves adjust to include job-search materials such as cover letters, emails, and resumes. I do not know that the idea is a bad one, actually, although I know that a couple of later writing courses offered to the students--Business Communication and Technical Writing--attend to such concerns, and I have to wonder if their hosting programs might get...agitated at first-year courses incorporating such materials.
Such annoyance is not my problem, however, as I will be moving on once the exams are given and graded. I mean to be done with those tasks quickly, and I expect that I will be able to be so quickly done; exam submissions tend toward brevity. If things go as they are supposed to go, I will get the exams graded, get my grades submitted, and turn in all of what I need to turn in to my jobs--and then I will be done. A few more things will need doing for the International Congress on Medieval Studies, at which I have tasks to complete; I have a little bit of preparatory work left to do in advance of those tasks, but not much. After that, though, and after next week's flying trips to the Texas Hill Country (I have a job interview) and Kalamazoo (the Congress), I will be done--at least with academic work, and at least for a little bit. Packing for the end of my visit to the wind-swept plains will need to continue, of course, since that visit ends when the month does, and there will be little time remaining, relatively speaking.
Something similar was the case for me some three years ago, I know. I was facing the loss of employment (due to a layoff) and a relative lack of prospects for more of it. I was fortunate enough to be recalled, though, and my current primary job presented itself as a relief. No such reprieve is currently available--but I recall that I was recalled while at the Congress, and while I do not necessarily look for such a thing to happen again, I cannot help but have a little bit of hope that I will get a fortunate email or phone call in the next days, or that things will go particularly well for me in the Hill Country, and I will be able to look forward to having my work continue so that I can continue to support my family.