The Quest For The Paper Grail.

“Elsa…let it go.”

This was a pretty fun set of references to make. The mashup is neat, the forced perspective was challenging, and the metaphor pretty solid, once we get to it. In fact, let’s get right to it.

On the first level, the Austrian Scientist Dr. Elsa Schneider represents a small number of my students. I had been asking them to turn in make up work, and submit late assignments for a week or two, before we got to today…the last day, when grades are actually due. Today is the day then, when I have a handful of students suddenly decide that they should finally turn their work in, despite the fact that the report card is pretty much lost and out of reach, like the Holy Grail in the artwork. Most of that small number are obsessed with somehow changing THIS report card, in getting things fixed Right Now, instead of focusing on “Open House”, or having a strong 15 week report card. It’s a kind of oddly self destructive behavior based on a kind of hyper focus on one thing.

On the second level, Cap’s advice in the caption is a more “teacherly” point. As I write this, my grades are in. Done. Ready to go to a report card, accessible to administration. Even so, teachers still print out a hard copy “grade verification”, sign it, and give it to administration. This is sensible, and is due first thing in the morning on Friday.

Without getting into detail about it, a complicated hardware/software problem at my classroom will make this almost impossible to have when I sign in tomorrow. Normally, this would bother me immensely. In reality, I pretty much have Cap’s view…it can be let go. It’s not that hugely important…I just think it is. Heck,everyone thinks it is, in a school environment. The fact is, people will be absent, and other people will have tech problems,so it just ISN’T such a Big Deal. It will get done, definitely by the end of the day, probably earlier than that.

It’s just not life or death. I’ve dealt with a little bit of that kind of thing lately, in ways that I don’t usually, and can safely say that “Yes, academic grades are important.” I stayed late for that, and double checked the grades, and did last minute recalculations. They affect students’ futures after all. I can also safely say that “No…redundant, antiquated pieces of paper are NOT that important,” and feel like I am on very firm intellectual ground.

So yes…the Edu-Lords will get their Paper Grail by the end of the day.

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