Let me tell you all of the almost week that I have had. To take this journey you will need to look a little further back.....
I applied to mark the big exams at the end of final year of high school (big ones across the state etc) and got an email back saying that I was unsuccessful. This happened about 5 weeks ago. All was cool in my world. The end of school procedure for me was looking like - write reports, go on camp and generally wind down. So far I am coping.
I decided to keep going with the end of year concert with my year 10 classes (I remind you that they were brilliant) and just plod my way through the reports and then go to the camp as the chief chef and bottle washer.
My world changed slightly (nothing to get too alarmed about yet) when I received a parcel in the post outlining the music I had to learn by heart (15 tracks by 2 versions) BEFORE I came to the training meeting on Wednesday 14th. I was a little stumped so I re read the letter and realised that I might have gone up the ladder from 'rejected' to 'emergency marker'. I was still ok with everything. I learnt the music to the best of my ability (didn't really over exert myself as I was an emergency...)
Turning up to the meeting/training session on Wednesday afternoon I sat and listened to all the people in the room talking about the versions of music we had been sent. I took lots of notes, then decided to have a coffee - meeting still taking place. As I was filling my cup with coffee, sugar and milk (desperately trying to work out where the hot water was - check the next room) the chief examiner came out to get himself a coffee as well.
The conversation between us went SOMETHING like this.
WG (me): Hi.
CE (him): Hi, Widgetgirl isn't it? (name not quite right). I've heard about you.
WG: (incredulously) Really. What have you heard?
CE: Been told that you are very good. Captain X (the person in charge of the whole study design) has spoken highly of you. Said that I should have you on board. We are thinking of using you in the setting as well next year. You are good aren't you?
WG: (gulping) So there is no pressure is there. Good thing that I am only an emergency marker.
CE: Oh no, you're a full marker!
WG: (almost fainting) Oh........
Going back into the meeting I listened MORE intently and started to contribute lots of ideas which I thought at the time might have been relevant. Looking back at it now I realise that I might have OVER done it in my zeal.
It was during this time that I found out the numbers of what was ahead of me and started to do the emergency tap dance in my head. (The one that looks like you are dancing on hot coals with the face of an angel - you could be thinking I might also look like a duck. All serene on top whilst underneath frantically pedalling just to stay afloat!)
Once I had left the meeting - late I might tell you as I had to catch up on the MOUNTAIN of paperwork, I started crunching the numbers. I think I might have hit melt down moment but was able to contain it only to smack into that mode in earnest on Thursday night.
The numbers looked something like this - 100 exams to mark as first marker, 50 exams to mark as second marker, 123 reports to write (and I hadn't finished all the marking) as well as sending my results for the classes I co-teach(115 students in total) and preparing for the camp ahead. I then reminded myself that camp began on Thursday and that although the deadline for reports was Monday of the following week it would be better to get them done earlier. In the same vein I realised that I should get the exams marked asap so I could go on camp......
Thursday night, with my exams in tow, I sat down to begin marking and, you guessed it, the neighbours decided to fire up the stereo. AAARGH!!!!!!!!! I cracked it! I opened the back door and yelled "Can you turn down that F*#*ing music!" There was a sudden scramble and a male voice saying 'Turn it down, she sounds angry.' (really?). The music turned down - but not enough. I went back into mark. Oh the agony.
Friday - only marked 25, hit the panic button! Snarly and snappy all day due to lack of sleep and the overwhelming pressure that I wasn't going to make it! I pride myself on being organised so this disorganised phase was killing me. I realised that there was nothing more that I had to do but CANCEL nearly everything that I was planning on doing for the weekend....... I did get out Saturday night. (there was this nice looking boy there and he is quite cute...but I digress)
Lets skip forward to today. I have 20 left to go of the second marking (now at record speeds of 5-7 an hour depending on the handwriting) and have completed the send-out of marks. I have my reports to do (most of today, yay!) and I am planning the shopping list for home and for the camp. I think I can make it. I can also say that I have never been so pleased for school camps, exams and other activities taking place in the school...........
I now feel like the little red caboose and we all know how that story ends - or do we? I need to stop writing here and get on with the reporting process.