December 24, 2010

The Night Before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas, what a pain in my ass…
Because I was still grading for my undergrad class.
My red pen was whirring, my comments were shrewd,
(to visiting relatives I might have seemed rude).
My family feted, cooked, drank and made merry,
While I, in my room, grew increasingly wary.
My deadline approached to submit grades I’d given,
I realized how many I’d already scriven.
Not nearly enough (if I worked at this pace),
To finish, on university-time, the great race.
My head in my hands as a fresh migraine bloomed,
This was it, the end, my career was doomed.
When out on the lawn there rose such a clatter,
I sprang from my desk to see what was the matter.
I flung open the curtains and realized right quick,
There he was, big red himself, old saint Nick.
He threw back his head with a laugh jolly bright,
His sleigh filled with presents a marvelous sight.
He looked to his reindeer, then gave me a wink,
(it wasn’t as creepy as you might think).
He smiled and started to leave on his sleigh,
But I opened the window and shouted “Wait, hey!
It’s Christmas!  I’m supposed to be opening gifts!
Not reading some kids’ misinterpreting of Swift!
My family’s singing Christmas tunes in good cheer,
While I’m miserably wading through papers, stuck here!
Is it my fault my final was scheduled late?
That the school cursed me to this gloomy yule fate?
Should I suffer since my students can’t write
On a deadline without putting up fights?
Where’s my Christmas spirit?  Can’t I have some fun?
Does a Professor’s life mean misery in the long-run?
Is Christmas a fiction, shiningly wrought?
A great lie from our parents we’ve always been taught?
Sure, you can go round the whole world in one night,
But you can’t fix my problems, or help solve my plight.
Leave presents, go on, things to open tomorrow,
But I’ll still be here wrapped in my own sorrow.”
Santa was struck dumb, didn’t know what to say
(I mean, I did kinda plan it that way)
He paused and he tried to collect what he thought,
But apparently couldn’t find words that he sought.
He took up his reigns and towards me he sped,
And when he spoke, these are the words that he said:
“All graders, professors and their TAs,
Adjuncts and lecturers, still in a daze,
Semester not over, you can’t quite unnerve it,
Take a Christmas break, for god’s sake, you deserve it!”
He wiggled his nose and I looked to my grading,
And realized the stack of “to do” papers was fading!
Santa had fixed it, he’d graded them all!
It was all I could do not to break down and bawl.
I looked out to thank him, but I was too slow,
He had already taken off into new-falling snow.
But I heard him exclaim, as he drove out of sight,
“Merry Christmas to all!  Put your pens down tonight!”

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