It will never end, I've finally realized.
This (mostly virtual) mountain of assignments to grade doesn't diminish, hour after hour. It's a self-perpetuating torture machine, subjecting me to copying and pasting the same comments over and over, with only occasional moments of brightness at a student's insight. Or, really, even ability to follow instructions.
I'm behind, behind, behind. They need their grades, they demand them, and eventually they will be due to the institution. Unfortunately, I have only so many hours in a day, and my attention span can only last so long. I try, I do, but I cannot spend twelve consecutive hours grading. It only feels like that's how I spend my days (and much of my nights).
I keep telling myself that this will all be over very soon, but deep down, I don't really believe it. I think I've been given a life sentence in grading jail, and will never emerge from it to face the world as a free woman, ever again.