I spent this past week doing one of the things that I love and yet almost can’t stand… grading essays. I absolutely love teaching World History. I love teaching the Advanced Placement World History course even more.
Each year the College Board hires about 1,000+ people to grade 200,000+ high school student essays. I am one of those lucky 1,000 that gets to spend the week reading essays for 7 straight days for 8 hours each day. In fact, this is my fourth year doing it. I know you are wondering, why in the world do I keep going back for such torture of reading historically inaccurate and grammatically incorrect essays? Well, one reasons is the pay isn’t half bad and it helps offset my travel expenses for that summer. The other deals with the 5-6 hours not related to essays at all.
The “Reading,” as it is officially called, takes place in Salt Lake City. High school history teachers, college professors, and history PhD candidates all flock to this place for the time of our lives… or for a decent week of professional development. The friends I’ve made over the years keep this event entertaining for me. And to too it off, this year we rented a car. A car opens up a world of possibilities in Salt Lake City that wasn’t available to us the previous year. We adventured all over to places that we just couldn’t make it on foot last year. The highlights, by far, we’re related to the great outdoors.
Early on in the week we decided we wanted to go hiking. Luckily for my friends, I am a planner and already found some decent places to go. The first hike we decided to do in nearby Ogden was described as a “short but strenuous hike” involving a “scramble” up rocks and anyone who was in “fair physical condition” should be able to handle it. It was to a place called Waterfall Canyon and i love a good hike with a view at the end, so we decided to go for it. I’m no marathoner, but I like to think I’m in fair shape. I walk faster than most of my friends while we are traveling around cities and I go for sporadic runs when I’m home. Apparently my fair condition doesn’t meet Utah standards. This hike had me huffing and puffing when we hit the scramble part (which was about a mile long). I blame the altitude difference, yeah, that’s it. Anyway, we made it up to see the waterfall and honestly, I’d do it again. The falls were awesome and view of Salt Lake was pretty cool as well. Look, I’m even smiling in the photos!
Don’t worry. I made it to read essays the next morning just fine. I even adventured out on another hike a few days later. Or at least tried to! Story to come post Euro adventures!