So the marking is over. Which to be honest, I thought I handled it quite well, however, my nearest and dearest have all looked at me, head cocked to one side, wry smile upon lips, desperation bursting out of the subtext, and said "you're not going to do it next year are you?" So they may have a different outlook on the whole experience.
Here's some Highs and Lows from the last four weeks of roller-coaster marking Hell.
Low: Falling out of love with some of my favourite poems as they were unsympathetically pulled apart by students scratching for marks.
High: Reading this, "When Duffy says 'diving for pearls' she clearly means William Shakespeare is giving Anne Hathaway a bit of oral." *tick*
Low: Not being able to watch anything decent on TV as at 9.00pm (when all the best things are on i.e. The Apprentice, Luther). At 9.00pm I was either frantically trying to finish last few scripts of the day, or tucked up in bed. Exhausted. Snoring.
High: Discovering all episodes are on the i player ready to watch in my own convenience. And being eternally grateful we are not still in 1990, where I would be reliant on a VHS recording, done by dad, and then whilst halfway through a gripping episode of Twin Peaks, witness with fury that half of it had been recorded over with London's Burning.
Low: Missing watching my eldest first swimming lessons. *wipes tear from eye*
High: Not having to sit behind steamed glass, watching my eldest reluctantly remove his arm bands and splutter his way across three lengths, fighting back the tears, until he ducked his head under to water to hide his tears. The recount was enough to break my fragile parenting heart. *wipes away BIGGER tear*
High: Completely and utterly removing myself from any household duties. (Can you hear The FH in the background - "Er, isn't that technically your first job as Housewife/Full time Parent?". No, it didn't have much impact on me either.)
Low: Losing our bed under a mountain of clean laundry; the two us frantically throwing clothes over our shoulder "It must me around here somewhere"
High: Not being able to drink, and enjoying the superior feeling that my scripts weren't to be returned to schools with red wine glass rings upon them.
Low: Not being able to drink.
Low: Not having the time, inclination or motivation to Blog. Resorting to publishing "draft" posts which weren't considered "good enough" the first time round. For all those who stuck with me - thank you, for those who didn't - *flicks the V's*.
High: The delightful and enthusiastic return to the blogging. Absence does make the heart grow fonder. Unfortunately that statement does only stick with Blogging, not cleaning, shame huh?
High Finishing in time to take Little O on his first school trip.
Low: Finishing in time to take Little O on his first school trip. (It was a day of two halves)
High: Finishing the final batch, packing them up, enthusiastically parcel taping them up, with an excessive amount of parcel tape, enjoying the knowledge the unhelpful office staff would be cursing me the other end.
Low: Dragging heavy parcels round to parent's, borrowing parent's car, driving around town until a parking spot near the post office appeared, bullying another car to get into said spot, dragging heavy parcels out of car, into post office, queuing in hot, stuffy, smelly post office line, only to discover parcel force labels were not in handbag. Returning home, searching my house, my parent's house, numerous handbags, parent's car - only to resort to ripping apart excessive parcel tape, whilst cursing, to discover labels were inside parcel. Not the first one I opened either. They were in the second. Of course.
(Confessions of a Magpie: this Highs and Lows format is unashamedly stolen from the marvellous Belgian Waffle, who has all the best ideas, even though she calls hers Up and Downs.)