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Monday, March 17, 2014

On the fly

I'm posting now because I won't have a moment later: I'm observing a faculty member at 6:25; his class gets out at 8, and I know I'm not going to want to come back here to write at that point; I'll need to just head home. My "conversation partner" is due in about 20 minutes. I have a ton of stuff to have done before P&B tomorrow, plus papers to grade--and that's just what's immediately in my face, not getting into all the other "I have to" flotsam on my triage list.

There were ten students in class today--and at least two of them really need to withdraw, as they've not turned in any work, or too little to count for much. I hate to lose either one: one makes truly brilliant contributions to class discussion (often talking way over the heads of the other students) but he says he "can't" translate what's in his head into writing. The other is a bit snarky--I've not been able to tell if the apparent chip on his shoulder is generic or specific to my class--but I like him anyway, and when he does contribute to class discussion, it's smart. But as I told them both, without work, they can't pass. My strong guess is that both will withdraw--which will be a shame, but ah well.

Advisement was a bit of a chore, not having to do with the students, but the fire alarm went off at about 1 p.m., and although we were cleared to re-enter the building by 1:15, the alarm continued to sound--one of the old-fashioned clanging bells--and apparently no one could figure out how to turn it off. Eventually, we were issued ear plugs, but trying to advise students over that clangor was grating to say the least: I swear, the pain in my ears was starting to make my throat hurt.

On the positive end of the spectrum, I met with three students from Nature in Lit today about their papers, and I think all three have a better sense of what's required. One is a young man I thought for sure wouldn't stick it out--but he's turning out to be a great student, working hard, learning a lot. It took a long while for the suspicious look to leave his face ("Who is this woman and what the hell is she doing??"), but now he's started to smile frequently--and it's a lovely smile. Nice.

It will be interesting to see  how tomorrow goes. Today's 102 was a bit of a bust: I started with having them work on correcting (or creating) works cited pages--but since several didn't have their papers, they were making things up out of whole cloth--and when we started to talk about the novel, only two had read any further than we went in class. Ah well. Tomorrow will go however it goes--including getting however much work accomplished--and now I have to get to that P&B business.

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