Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Spring Arrives, Sort Of

It's Spring Break, so therefore it must be spring. Actually, there seems to be some truth in this (never mind that spring isn't officially here), given that the temperature immediately soared into the 70s, a rather startling development given that the beginning of last week was down well below freezing and with reported wind chills in the negative degrees. I might, of course, have enjoyed the brief warm weather had it not been right when I wanted to devote myself to long-put-off projects like filing, spring cleaning, and tax preparation, and as the heat for the building was still on, my apartment was sweltering even with the windows wide open.
The sweaty weather has departed, leaving us with a more seasonally suitable cool and rainy spell that is well enough suited to the grading of the large stack of midterms that awaited me upon my return from CAA (which, being in Los Angeles, was also an encounter with above-70 weather but at least not very sweatily so).
Thus far the midterms for the 19th-century class are not quite up to the standard of the papers. They are not bad, but I have not read one yet that will be above a B+. There are some commonalities in what I'm reading that suggest the textbook is weaker than I thought on relating the art to the socio-political context--or simply that aspects of what it does say go right by. (This was a take-home exam.) For instance, I did think it was pretty clear that Napoleon and Napoleon III are not the same person, and that while the 19th century saw repeated revolutionary activity in France, the French Revolution itself was in the 18th century. Still, often a stack of exams magically clumps itself and all the best ones or worst ones are together. If those I've done so far prove to be the worst, I will be very content.
There are, however, stacks of other things to get done this week besides the exams, so I must return to my labors.

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