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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Bad night

Didn't get the light out until after 2:30. Had the alarm set for 8 (much later than I'd normally allow but figuring the extra sleep would make up for the loss of work time). Woke up at 6 anyway. Tried to fall back to sleep until I gave up a little after 7. Scraped ice out of the driveway for half an hour, splashed to campus, and managed to get through at least one set of reading journals for today's class so they could get some feedback. Went to class.

Either because of last night's ice storm, or for some other reason that is one of the mysteries of the universe, only fifteen students were there--or at least there and allowed to stay and work. One came in a little late and didn't have his reader or his homework: sorry, but bye. He was replaced by another student coming in who did have his homework: hooray, you can stay. Then half an hour late, in bangs the student who, on Monday, acted as if he'd never heard anything I'd said since day one. I asked him if he had his reader. "It's here." Where? "It's here." Finally I got him to pull it out of his pack. Do you have your reading journals? Yes. Where? Repeat conversation above, except it turns out he did not, in fact, have his reading journals: he had the other homework for today.

Before I figured out that he didn't actually have the reading journals, I was going to have him join a group--but after he'd been sitting there for five minutes, still with nothing open in front of him and not participating in any way, I called him out in the hall. First of all, I explained, my attendance policy says that if you're more than 20 minutes late, you're absent. "What?? But in high school it was like 30 minutes." This isn't high school. He tried to argue with me: why is 20 minutes late? One could almost laugh about that one, but I just repeated, it's my policy. "How late was I?" Thirty minutes. Plus, you're clearly not ready to do the work of the class, so you need to leave today and try again on Monday. More argument, why can't he stay and at least take notes and try to learn something? Because you're not prepared and the other students are, and you're getting in the way of their learning experience.

Back into the room we went, and five minutes later, he still was sitting there. I called his name and said, "Goodbye." "I'm packing up," he said, although he was not moving, hadn't been since returning to the room. A few minutes later, he grabbed his coat, flung it over his shoulders and stormed out.

I hope I never see him again. I realize that I was similarly disenchanted with Mr. Macho last semester, but he at least showed signs of intelligence and ability under it all. This guy: nothing. I mean, nothing. It isn't that the light's on but nobody's home: the light isn't even on. He's animated--breathing, moving--but otherwise inert.

The class did not go well, generally, because I pushed an idea on them too fast and they froze up: my bad. But, tired as I am, I just didn't have it in me to circle around and around and around the central issue of the story. Ah well. We discussed it, at least, and we discussed some stuff about paper writing generally (I was very proud of myself that I did talk about the day's homework). And that was that.

Monday will be better, please God.

So I came back to the office, fully intending to pack up immediately and head for home and what I hope will be a championship-quality nap, but then I ran across a little P&B stuff that needed tending to (yep, I'm back on P&B, taking up my duties as alternate). So I cleared that off my desk (there's more, but at least that part of it's done), now I've blogged, and I realize I almost literally can't see, so I need to get myself fed and horizontal. More marking assignments for tomorrow will follow some sleep. Sleep will help everything.

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