It was a Saturday evening. I had done the dumbest thing I have ever done in my teaching career and was paying the price for it. So I sat at my kitchen table, trying desperately to score a stack of about 150 position papers (almost all of which were plagiarized from the same three sources, I might add).
I say "trying desperately" because I had NO desire whatsoever to be doing what I was doing. I had been forced by the powers that be to inflict torture on myself via the aforementioned essay assignment. Foolishly, however, I made it into the semester final exam. Grades were due in just three days, and I had to grade them quickly.
First of all, grading essays is no picnic, regardless of the writing ability. But when you have to read essentially the same three essays 150 times -- and they weren't even that well written to begin with -- you get the strange, yet overwhelming desire to jab your red ink pen into your eye.
So there I sat at the kitchen table trying desperately to grade papers and to avoid my periodic involuntary attempts to put out my own eye. My two energetic and very boisterous children began to "play" in the living room about ten feet away from the table. This was more than I could handle. I stood up suddenly, slammed my hands down on the table and announced (or rather, bellowed), "I WANT PEACE - AND QUIET!!!"
My children were slightly taken aback at this outburst, but not really enough to move their game elsewhere. Instead, my son -- bless his heart -- sidled up to me slowly with his hand in his pocket. He pulled his hand out of his pocket wryly and handed me his fist. He said, "Mom, here is a piece of quiet. You can eat it... then, you can IGNORE us."