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Monday, October 19, 2015

Really, truly drowning...

I've been trying to get rid of at least some of the water weeds that have been pulling me under today--responding to e-mails about seminar hours stuff, writing up observations, getting information to the people who will be subbing my classes for me, getting handouts ready for my classes (so I don't forget to have them). In Advisement, I got a few papers marked for 101, but then it occurred to me that I have to do a lot of reading to be ready for tomorrow's classes, so I stopped marking assignments and started reading--but then I had to meet with two students after class: one was my one, lonely mentee from seminar hours; the other was a student from M&D who is struggling but who will, I think, do OK now that we've talked. Once again, it was one of those instances in which I suddenly saw a whole new person when I talked with him in my office. In class, he almost isn't there--but in my office, he was charming, bright eyed, vivid. I don't know what happens to some of them when they get into the classroom, but some pall falls over them, and they suddenly become droopy eyed and dull. It's a mystery.

I also was rather dreading the 101 class today. So many of the students have fallen so far behind--despite being warned that they need to turn things around--that I was really fretting about it. I decided the only thing to do was to talk to them about it, and I very bluntly said that if the class were larger, I'd let the ones who are falling behind just fail or withdraw and not worry about it--but in a class as small as ours is, not only do I not want to lose them, I think I might be able to help them. Interestingly enough, pretty much across the board, the main concern--even among the students who are doing well--was the discussion board posts: the deadline felt too soon after the reading is due in class. I laid out several options, but the consensus was that I'd make two changes: I'd extend the deadline for the initial post--they now have 24 hours after class to submit that post--and I'd make any further posts beyond the initial one optional/extra credit. Only one person seemed less than relieved--but she still hasn't even turned in her paper, so, well, I don't quite know what might save her at this point. But the students who are doing well can now earn some extra extra credit, and the ones who have been struggling have the option to pick up some additional points.

And eventually, I have to go onto our Blackboard site and look at the damned discussion board posts to gather marks for the last few rounds. I think I already did one round once but I've lost track of where I left off, so I'll probably have to go back. Oh well.

I'm really more concerned about A) getting the reading done for tomorrow and B) getting the 101 papers marked to return on Wednesday--because that's when I collect the preliminary version of their next papers.

Last night I really, seriously considered setting the alarm for six this morning so I could squeeze some extra work out of the day. I didn't--and as a consequence, I'm still here at 8 p.m. Even so, I may have to get up at 6 tomorrow--and even that may not be anywhere near enough to get me ready for tomorrow's classes.

But if I'm going to have any chance at all of getting anything like sleep tonight, I'd better get home ASAP. Off I go.

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