October 3 Day 574: Old Routines are not Necessarily Good Routines

It’s the weekend during the regular academic year and it feels like nothing has changed. What does that mean?

Phone calls with family and grading. It feels so familiar. The biggest difference is there is one more call to make now, having two sons away at college.

UW Tacoma’s Matrix Algebra class is writing-intensive (a.k.a a “W” course); in addition to regular problem sets, there are weekly writing reflections. That doubles the work of an already grading-heavy subject. I don’t particularly like grading. So why is it that I save my grading for time outside the work day? Grading is the most unpleasant part of my profession.

I need to learn to carve out time during the eight hour work day in which to get it accomplished. Am I too set in my ways to start new routines?

Cover image is a picture of Mark taking a picture of our son Anson during a FaceTime conversation on my iPhone this afternoon.

Published by Jenny Quinn

Mathematician. Mother. Wife. Leader. I am a professor of mathematics at the University of Washington Tacoma. Mother of Anson and Zachary. Wife to Mark. President of the Mathematical Association of America.

2 thoughts on “October 3 Day 574: Old Routines are not Necessarily Good Routines

  1. I hear you about grading. Google classroom has made a difference for me for proofs and writing assignments. You can annotate submissions directly using an iPad. I’m also using MyOpenMath for Calc 2, which has an automatic homework grading system.


    1. I think the reason I grade at home is I sit on a couch under a fuzzy blanket, grading from my iPad. I have done so for many years (at least eight). I do not have a way to reproduce that environment in my office—maybe I should come home earlier in the day specifically to grade? Or change my expectation of a grading environment.


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