This week all of my physics classes are taking their first exam. Today my two sections ofÂ¬â€ Science Foundations for elementary education majors had their exam and tomorrow my science and engineering students have their calculas-based have their first exam. My exams are decidedly evil – they are tough and the average student will need 90% of the time (2 hours) to get them done. I’m sure that many of my students wish me ill while taking my exams.
This time they might get their wish.
While watching my students take their exams today I witnessed a steady stream of sneezing, sniffling, nose blowing, and other signs of students just not being healthy. As they took their exams, without thinking and without malicious thought (I’m hoping), the rubbed their noses and coughed into their hands, and then handled their exams. As I contemplate the stack of exams on my coffee table, I can’t help but think, that stack of papers is breeding a super-bug. And when I grade that stack of exams, I’m going to catch the superbug.
I wonder if Lysol causes ink to run?
There are certain careers where one has to recognize germs are part of life. Teaching is one of those. Theatre ticket collector, any one who handles money, and nurses all fall into the esteemed “constantly exposed to germs” category.
Do germs die at a lower temperatureÂ¬â€ than paper combusts?
So, I will spend my next several days grading, drinking orange juice, and wondering what happens when you mix the germs of 120 (not their fault) snotty nosed students.
I love my job, except for grading.
Someday, but not this year, we’ll be able to have the students take their exams in a computer room or on required personal laptops, and everything will be digital.
I can’t wait for that day.
In the interim, tomorrow my students will take a paper exam involving a hedgehog and a penguin named Fred.