Literally, not metaphorically. Hurricane Joaquin has us in its sights and may hit on Monday. The weather report says it's a very difficult storm to predict, but I have to admit, even the thought of it has me more than a little freaked out. I'm already thinking about whether I should prepare to leave town on Sunday, cats and all, and head out of harm's way. My particular area was not especially hard hit by Sandy, but I don't relish a repeat of even that experience--and the indications are that Joaquin will be a stronger storm...
So, part of what I had to do in class today was to prepare the students in the 101 for what to do in terms of class should the storm hit, both if classes are being held but it's dangerous for the individual student to get to campus (which is possible: depending on where students live, something that barely touches us here mid-Island to north shore can slam the hell out of them) and if classes are canceled. I told them to be ready for everything to proceed as normal on Monday, but if it doesn't, we go into a holding pattern until classes resume.
I'll have to make a similar announcement to the electives tomorrow. If we really are hit dead on, as we might be, classes could be canceled for a good long while.
Still, there was actual educating going on in the class today. I went over all the nuts and bolts stuff--starting with having them calculate where their grade stands right now. I told them the numeric range that would be passing at this point and that if they fell outside the range, as of right now, they're failing. The guinea pig said, "So, you mean I'm failing the course? I can't do anything about it?" I assured them all that no: I'm doing this now while there's still time to pull out a passing grade--but I did want to scare the shit out of them, and I think I did. Interestingly enough, Mr. Bewildered is actually doing sort of OK--though he does need to button it up and turn in all his assignments from now on. I reminded them that discussion board posts are due the day we discuss the article in class--and that in order to get full credit, they have to do an initial post plus respond to two others. Guinea Pig piped up again: "Wait, I only responded to one. I thought..." I cut him off: we went over it in class; it's on the handout about discussion boards; it's in the syllabus. No fucking excuses.
Next time, I'll say, "Don't 'think.' Know for sure: read the handouts carefully."
Both he and Mr. Bewildered also have a tendency to zone out during class, no matter what's going on. Sigh.
But I also went over the submission requirements, paper format, works cited pages, thesis statements, what the peer review on Monday (or whenever) will be, blah blah blah. At the end, I had 15 minutes in which to discuss the articles they found on their own--and of the students who were there, half didn't have anything, or only had an article but hadn't done the work on it yet.
Right now, I predict that I'm going to end up with four, maybe five students in that class. If I can get all the good ones to stay.
I'm glad to report that it was a very quiet day in Advisement today, so I not only got all the 101 homework marked to return, I got most of the homework for the SF class marked too--and finished the rest of it after class today. I have an appointment that means I have to leave in a few minutes, which is too bad: I'm kinda on a roll and would love to read the next chunk of Oryx and Crake--but I guess that will have to wait until I'm home. And I'm not sure I'll make the MDC session during Club Hour tomorrow, though I'd like to go: I suspect I'll be marking M&D homework and reading The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. Ah well. C'est la vie.
And now, I must dash. See y'all on the flip side (a term that is meaningless in a world that no longer relies on vinyl records).