It started last Tuesday, when they took the exam in the afternoon. After the test, I immediately set to work, sitting down and checking off the first two problem sets (there were 6 all in all). The first two problem sets were easy, since the questions only had one correct answer, and if they wrote something else, that would be considered a mistake. I finished those on Tuesday.
Then Wednesday was the start of the harder essay questions. Instead of grading them one section at a time, I had to grade them one question at a time. I grade every question and I just cycle through the whole pile, so that in my working memory, there would be just one active question at a time. In this way, I am more consistent with grading the papers. The thing is, sometimes my students would be writing long answers when all I need is a short one.
I finished the whole pile yesterday (Thursday). It was great. Finally, I tallied the numbers, and assigned letter grades for them. There were a few people who were failing the final exam.
After that, I combined the grade they had for the finals with the grade they had for the other parts of the class. Thus, at the end of the day, I had a spreadsheet of all the people's grades, and their letter grade for the whole class. Ah, I was satisfied.
I rewarded myself by buying a slab of nice moldy St. Agur Blue Cheese. And breakfast today was wonderful.