Notice about Cookies (for European readers)

I have been informed that I need to say something about how this site uses Cookies and possibly get the permission of my European readers about the use of Cookies. I'll be honest: I have no idea how the cookies on this site work. My understanding is that Google has added a boilerplate explanation. That's the best I can do.

Student Readers: A Warning

I welcome students readers to this blog. However, be aware that, although I do not use anyone's actual name, the descriptions of behaviors and conversations are not disguised. This is a space in which I may rant, vent, and otherwise express responses that I would do my best to mask or at least tone down in professional interactions with students. This is my personal, gloves off, no holds barred, direct from the gut expression of what it feels like to do my job. If you think you might be hurt or offended or upset by that, read no further. The person I'm ranting about could be you.

Hi! And you are...?

My readership has suddenly blossomed, which is a lovely development--but I don't know who is reading the blog, how you found it, and why you find it interesting. I'd love to hear from you! Please feel free to use the "comment" box at the end of any particular post to let me know what brought you to this page--and what keeps you coming back for more (if you do).

Not you, Barry. You already told me--and thanks!

Follow by Email

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Stormy weather

Ye gods, what a storm. I damned near did the Mary Poppins thing walking to my first class today. After that I got sensible and left the umbrella in the office--and mercifully, the torrential downpours all happened while I was in class, not walking across campus.

But the weather simply adds to everyone's brain fatigue (including mine). I was supremely unprepared for the short story class today, hadn't reread either story and didn't remember them as well as I should have. Ah well. Students were mostly concerned about their proposals (most of which didn't pass, meaning most of them have to revise) and their last papers, which they finally got back (and many of which didn't pass, ditto). One poor student is having to wait to get his papers back--but I don't feel too terrible, as he got them to me late anyway. He's the one I met with this morning. Strange thing: when he works on his own, without seeing me, the ideas he comes up with are pretty terrible. As soon as he's talking to me, his ideas become clear and precise. I tried to point out to him the difference in approach so he can start doing the clear thinking without having to come to me (or whatever professor) first.

And now I'm facing a madding crowd of students who want to meet with me--or whom I asked to meet with me. I'll be filling lots of my "spare" time over the next week sitting down one-on-one with students who are trying to squeeze ideas out of brains that have been pretty well bled dry. But, man, I just love the one-on-one stuff. I truly do. If I could teach two classes and then spend the rest of my time meeting with students individually, I'd be in freaking hog heaven. (Sudden image of hogs freaking: not what I meant. Oh, you know.)

Today's 101 was modestly productive. We did just sort of kick around ideas, a free-flowing debate stemming from the question, "Is a commitment to a common good that will benefit generations to come more morally laudable than working diligently to achieve personal gain?" (Taken from's "Product Information" about For the Greater Good of All: Perspectives on Individualism, Society, and Leadership [Jepson Studies in Leadership]. Ed. Donelson R. Forsyth and Crystal L. Hoyt. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011 [forthcoming].) The students were moderately engaged--at least no one fell asleep (a triumph on a day like today). Mr. Macho was great: contributed to the conversation seriously, thoughtfully. It took a little prodding to get him on task in the first place, but he did great. His group's proposal, however, is the only one in that class yet to be approved, and I'm more than a little worried about that. I did, however, impress specifically on him that Tuesday is the "drop dead" date: no approved proposal, they don't pass. For his sake, I hope they pull it together.

And now I'm looking at the huge pile of things I need to mark for that class, and the other 101s (or part of it: a lot of it is at home). Two of my favorite students in that class were rather wistfully asking when they might get everything back: I understand that they want to know, and they're right to, and I feel awful about how long it's taking me--but not necessarily awful enough to do any work tonight. I'll schlep it home, however, so I have stuff to work on while I wait around the doctor's office tomorrow morning. And I'll just chip, chip, chip away at it. What else can I do?

But for now, what I can do is drive carefully home, avoiding the worst of the road-lakes (and under a very strange purple sky) and try to recharge batteries (mine, metaphoric) so I have a shot at being productive at least some time over the weekend. We'll see. (The mantra of the semester, of my life these days.)

No comments:

Post a Comment