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eyes bleedingMy eyes are bleeding. Not quite in the vampire-crying sense of bleeding, but they are tired and red.

It’s been quite the week. Have you ever been immersed in a long-term, intensive project that’s consumed almost every hour of your workday? And as you near the completion, you find yourself gasping for air, giddy with anticipated relief that the assignment will be over?

After grading and assessing 45 research papers this week, that’s where I am. My brain is ready for a vacation from comma splices, incorrect citations and formatting, and awkward sentence structures. Overall, the papers were better than worse. With a freshman writing class, that is success.

The highlight of the papers is the topics the students chose. At the beginning of the course, we discussed reality as a general, overarching theme. Then we dug down into what is each student’s individual reality. What is most important to them and what is shaping their lives? Some chose their academic majors, others chose a future career, some chose relationships, and others chose topics important to them. They wrote about their reality topic for the entire semester in essays, a daybook, blogs, letters and a research paper, which will culminate in an ePortfolio presentation in two weeks.

My reality at this point? It is to finish my writing projects for the week and then use the weekend to refresh and renew. And to buy a new bottle of Visine.