2011 Resolution #10.

In my “Resolutions for 2011,” #10 was “I shall make a 10th resolution before February 28th, 2011.” I now have one.

When I collect a gaggle of essays from my students, I usually grade them over the ensuing weekend. That way, I have a solid block of time to get them graded all at once. I think my current practice is pretty efficient in terms of conserving total grading time. However, I think I’d rather just get them back to the little angels as soon as possible. Therefore, I hereby resolve that:

10. On any day I collect essays, I shall grade at least ten of those essays.

Ideally, after knocking off the first ten, I’ll get into a rhythm and grade a bunch more before retiring for the evening. Even if not, it’ll be a good head start and I’ll be well on my way to getting the work done.

I bought an iPad last week. I figured that if it turned out to be no good, I could return it and get refunded the full amount minus the restocking fee. A net loss of fifty bucks would probably be worth the trial period.

It’s an incredible machine, and you can read all about its awesomeness elsewhere. I found it great for browsing the internet, reading books, looking at photos and playing a few games. But then I found myself visiting this august journal and finding it very tedious to type anything longer than a few words. Any sort of word processing was out of the question.

So I went out and bought a plastic case with a bluetooth keyboard. Typing was a lot easier, but the keyboard was nowhere nearly as functional as that of a laptop. Hitting F3 did not show all the windows I had open simultaneously. The arrow keys didn’t work in every application. I kept reaching for the trackpad only to realize there was no trackpad. Worse, if I wanted to connect a mouse, I’d have to jailbreak the tablet–no thanks. I was going nuts.

I kept stealing glances at my MacBook as it sat unused on the table. I longed for its useful keyboard, its trackpad, and its far superior (for my purposes) functionality. I hoped its feelings wouldn’t be hurt by my brief dalliance with the tablet.

I returned the iPad on Monday and got a full refund. A net loss of zero dollars was definitely worth the trial period.

I’d still love to see a MacBook with a detachable touchscreen, a la the Lenovo IdeaPad U1, or some iPad-keyboard combination functional enough for my tastes. But that looks to be at least another year or two away.

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