I'm tired; class today was torturous; I still have one more paper to mark before tomorrow's class-and I'll have about 30 minutes of time between 10 a.m. and class at 4. Fortunately, that should be enough time to do the work I need to do on the paper: it's just a "mechanics" review, so I don't need to comment or grade, just point out problems. However, if anything at all runs longer than I anticipate, I'll be pretty screwed.
Well, sufficient to each day and all that.
Today's 101 class sucked because there were so few students there, and several of them had nothing to do, because they missed the first round on the paper. Right now, there are five or six students who actually are doing the work and staying active; the rest? AWOL or useless--or both. One of the best students may be out for the semester: I think I mentioned before that she was in an "incident" that had her hospitalized for a good while, and she's still not back in class. Another one of the potentially very good students has been pretty shaky in his attendance; he was out today, in fact.
I kinda give up on that bunch. I'll be happy just to get a few of them over the finish line--and I'll put most of my energy into the other group, who are infinitely more rewarding.
The poetry class sucked too, partly because of the perennial problem of getting them to actually speak, but also because they'd been focused on their papers, and the poems we started reading in class left them utterly stymied. (Poems about poetry: today we covered--or tried to--Marianne Moore's "Poetry" (the original version) and Archibald MacLeish's "Ars Poetica.") I told them they'd better work something up by Wednesday, or there'd be a whole lot of silence in the room, because I'm not going to jump in to help.
I do not understand why they won't just fucking ask questions.
The one good thing to come out of that class is that a student who has been doing a pretty insufficient job on her responses e-mailed me a few times about her paper--and because of what I said in answer, she now is starting to get the idea of what the responses are for and what they need to contain in order to be useful. She came to the office to talk to me about it, and she's not quite as confident as I wish she were, but I think her work is going to improve. That's a win. I suspect that, having come to my office, she may also be more willing to speak up in class: she started to respond a little more in class today, and I hope that trend continues.
In terms of the cattle-chute day I'm facing tomorrow, it starts with helping Bruce carry promotion applications over to the college-wide committee that will evaluate them, which will make me a little late for the seminar hours meeting, which leads directly to a department meeting, after which I see the Mystery Enthusiast (or whatever I've been calling him) for "mentoring." Then I have that brief break before P&B and class. I can already feel that cattle prod coming at me.
Now, however, it's tired and I'm late, or whatever. I'm going home--and I will try heroically to resist the siren lure of chocolate, though I don't have anyone around to tie me to the mast....