- Consume as much caffeine as possible. This helps maintain alertness and helps keep you awake when reading. Of course, be careful not to consume too much caffeine -- it sucks to have your heart hammering away in your chest when your body must remain stationary, and it may make you want to hurl.
- When it feels like your eyes may begin bleeding, pause and take a break. This may mean taking a few moments to catch up on blogs, answer emails, or changing a load of laundry; whatever the diversion, your eyes will bless you for the break.
- Do not take out your feelings of anger and frustration when you have just read the 121st comma splice -- yes, the error may make you want to tear your hair out, but try to remain calm. This student only made the error 3 times -- it is the other 25 students with their few errors per paper that have compounded the feeling that no. single. student. on. this. earth. understands. sentence. coordination.
- Consume more caffeine at this point.
- It's a good idea to take breaks for exercise; as we all know, exercise helps lower stress and helps invigorate us, but if time does not allow for exercise, consider banging your head against the wall. It relieves pretty much the same tension.
- Lastly, decide on a quitting time in advance. Yes, these papers may really need to be returned to students tomorrow, but are you willing to sacrifice a good night's sleep in order for Tommy to give his essay and your comments a cursory glance and then proceed to make the same mistakes on his next essay? Probably not. Therefore, determine for yourself: how late will you work? Is 10 late for you? Midnight? Decide this now. Your sanity will thank you later.
There you go folks -- now you are well-equipped to take on my grading for me. So...when can I get all of your addresses so I can start out-sourcing this stuff?