I didn't quite get all the papers marked before today's 101 class--but in a merciful gift from the gods, the one student whose paper I hadn't finished was not in class today, so no harm, no foul, as they say in baseball. One student was there who had not submitted the paper, and I had a little talk with him in the hall. He's a sweet young man and seems bright enough, but he is, in his own words, "slacking"--and not just in my class. Apparently there are two classes that he really loves, and he's putting all his energy into those, and the rest of his classes are beginning to circle the drain. I suggested he might want to participate in mentoring for some guidance with balancing all his work, and he said he'd signed up--but he'd never checked his e-mail about it, so he didn't know that he had an appointment with a mentor.
In any event, the students who were there were diligently working on understanding my comments, trying to figure out how to revise in order to address those comments. One of the students who missed class on Monday but submitted his paper late is one I had identified as a potential source of the negative aura of the room. Today, however, he seemed relaxed and cheerful, and very glad to hear and accept my comments. Miss Confusing was as confusing as ever, but I hope she got a sense of what she needs to do. The very bright student who seemed resistant at first still seems a bit leery of me and my requirements, but I told her she was doing fine--and in fact her paper needs very little in the way of revision. She relaxed as I told her not to worry about some of the things I'd pointed out that could be improved. And one young woman has completely overturned my expectations of her from the first class. My initial thought was that she wasn't going to do well--and then she was absent three times in a row, which made me even more sure she didn't have the chops for the class. Au contraire. She's very bright and writes well, and she's working hard. Good news all around.
Nevertheless, I think that's going to be The Amazing Shrinking Class: I'm guessing the nine or ten who have been around this week may be the only ones who'll stick. One bright and hardworking student is suffering health problems that are keeping her away from class: I need to e-mail her to reassure her that she can continue if she's able to come back before too much more time elapses. I think she'd be a safe candidate for an Incomplete, though I don't want to tell her that just yet....
As for tomorrow's class, yesterday I mentioned that I hadn't gotten a paper from one apparently bright student who just isn't in class very often--but her paper was on the office door today, and it's been dutifully uploaded to Turnitin. So I'll have eleven papers to mark tomorrow--but I think I can do that without having to come in early. Or at least not super early: probably getting here about the same time I did today will be enough.
And it's a good thing I don't have to try to grade anything tonight as I'm getting that "I'm so tired, I can't see" thing. It's very hard to read and comprehend when one can't see. So, early though it is, I'm bailing for tonight: I'm going to toddle off to do my evening routines and to try to get to sleep at something approaching a reasonable hour. Because tomorrow, as it may surprise you to hear, is actually another day. Not this one: it's a whole different day. And that's just grand.