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Thursday, September 10, 2015

E natural...

...the note on which I'm ending the week.

Ha ha ha.

My initial impression of the intellectual wattage in the Mystery class, in comparison with the SF class, was proven incorrect today--but I still like the class, generally, and the class ended with me in conversation with two of the more insecure students, who nevertheless are working their little butts off and consequently doing as well as, if not better than, some of the more confident students.

The discussion in both classes was a little bumpy, but in both classes, I said I would allow students to rework their first real reading responses (to the first half of Frankenstein for SF, to "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" for Mystery), now that they've tried them out and we've had a class discussion. Almost everyone in both groups took me up on it. Almost everyone who hadn't turned in their initial self-evaluation/responses last week did so today.

It was raining, so several students were absent (two with flat tires: coincidence?)

In each class, a student who was not registered for the first two class meetings missed today's class--and is now woefully, frighteningly behind. Weirdly, one of them started out in the Mystery class and is now in SF. I'm not sure why he switched, but he does know I'm his professor, as he e-mailed about whether to come to class since he didn't have a print copy of the book. (I didn't get his e-mail until after class, so of course, it's my fault he wasn't there....) I've told both of them that it's more important for them to be working with the rest of the class than to risk falling even further behind by trying to make up old assignments. I'm not sanguine about the chances of success for either student, but I could be surprised.

And Mr. Hostility was initially hostile again today. I put the students in groups, and he was reading Frankenstein, ignoring his group mates. I asked him to stop reading and interact with his group mates, and he said, "Isn't the whole point of this class to read?" I said, "No, the point of this class is to discuss what you've read; you read on your own." A few minutes later, he was going on again about how unbearably boring the beginning of the work was. I was ready to tell him to see me after class--but then, in class discussion, he woke up, was smiling, participating....

I've been duped by this kind of thing before, thinking I could salvage a hostile student by being nonconfrontational, so again, I'm not sanguine that he'll last--because I may well boot him: if he continues to be hostile, he's gone, as he creates an atmosphere that is not conducive to learning for the other students. But I haven't given up on him just yet, and he doesn't seem to be disturbing the other students entirely (though I will be sure not to put him in a group with two relatively reticent young women again).

I also booted two students from SF, three from M&D, for not coming to class prepared. One of the students in the SF class was in one of my 101s last fall. I was rather charmed by him back then; I'm not so charmed now. His self-evaluation was unfocused ramble; he admitted that he had not read the syllabus. I'm done babying him: he either pulls his shit together or he's out.

It's interesting that I have less patience with him than with Mr. Hostility. I think it's because I feel I taught him better, so his behavior reflects badly on me. Of course, he had the entire spring semester, plus the summer, to unlearn any good habits he may have (slowly and painfully) acquired from being in my class, but still: it pisses me off when my own students fuck up.

But we'll see. If he comes to class prepared from now on, I'll be very happy.

And once again, I'm taking work home with me, even though as a general rule, I try not to do that. Because Monday is yet another holiday, I won't have time on campus to prep for Tuesday's classes--so, I'll be doing it Monday at home. (Happy New Year! Welcome to 5775!)

I should also make note of a minor miracle: in fact, I was able to read today's story for M&D and get the assignments I'd collected marked and returned. So the only work I have hanging over from earlier this week is the online discussion board stuff from the 101 students, which I need to read over and quickly evaluate. At some point, I should put the grading for those online, so students can check their marks electronically, but right now, enh. I'll do it on paper. It's a little clumsy, but hey.

I can't wait to get the index cards from Printing, however. Having those will make my life much easier.

But speaking of easy life, I'm astonished to see that it's only a little after 6, and I'm stick-a-fork-in-me done. Hallelujah and pass the parsnips.

1 comment:

  1. Once again,you rock,prof p!

    Endurance and boundary drawing are met together here. When I grow up this is how I shall run my classes.