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Thursday, October 24, 2013

super-fast wrap up

I probably shouldn't be posting at all tonight: I have to get out of here extremely quickly to get out to Stony Brook by 7--and I'll be in rush hour traffic, so I may not make it even so. But the need to wrap up the week compels me to at least give a quick overview.

I didn't quite get the papers all graded before class--and the interruptions that prevented me from doing so were at least in part my fault. I did need to talk to one of the people I'm mentoring for promotion: he's overly sanguine about his folder, and I'm frankly worried that he may not have enough departmental service to satisfy the college-wide Promotion and Tenure committee. We'll do what we can to make what he's got look impressive--and indeed a lot of  it is--but I had to talk to him about the fact that he's not precisely on the ball here.

So that one I scheduled, in a way--but another was a colleague, whom I am also mentoring, who dropped by to see William and ended up wanting to first chat, then ask me some questions about her folder, and I didn't tell her I didn't have the time for the conversation. Then Paul came in, his pit stop before heading up to Massachusetts, and he wanted to know what I'm doing this weekend--and because I love him and want to talk to him, I didn't say to him (or to myself), "I can't do this now: I have to just grade these papers."

But there was only one ungraded, and I finished it up in class as the students were talking about the novel. The discussion about the novel was good. The student I was worried about losing I have now officially lost: even if she shows up again, I'll have to let her know she's only got those two unfortunate options. Seems we're down to 12. I  need to leave papers on the door for two students who weren't there today--and I may, in fact, lose them, too, which would put us at 10. From 27. Sigh.

The Mystery class was OK. I'm not doing group work with them any more, so most of them don't talk (and a few clearly are using the class as nap time), but the ones who do talk are great fun. We got off on a couple of wonderful tangents today, too--about the genre in general. I let them go early, but a lot stayed to talk to me after. Several I asked to come see me either during my office hours or to make an appointment, as they need my help understanding what went wrong with their papers and how to revise. They're great.

And I found out from my student who is friends with the Fiction Writing student that the young woman in Fiction Writing loves the class. Very gratifying way to end the day and the week.

There's a ton more I could say: the 102 students looked over their second versions and asked questions before leaving--or most of them did (the ones who didn't avail themselves of the opportunity last time didn't take advantage this time either). The main thing is, they're learning. All of them: 102, Mystery, Fiction Writing. That's wonderful, and all I can really ask.

I'm leaving my desk an ungodly, chaotic mess, which will not be fun to come back to on Monday morning, but I do have to fly out of here. Here's to a weekend of sleep and self-indulgence.

Oh, and no one said anything about my fabulous, red-and-black, custom-made cowboy boots. Ah well. I still feel special wearing them.

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