I don't actually have a lot to report from today. It was generally a productive day, with no sense of being prodded down the cattle chute. This is, of course, the up-side of having so few students left. The down-side is, well, I have so few students left.
It just occurred to me that there are actually two young women in the M/W 101 who have been borderline hostile and then occasionally sunny/friendly. One of them has missed the majority of the assignments and has done a crappy job on the ones she's submitted. I think I may have driven her off--albeit unintentionally--as on her preliminary essay I said that at some point she'd have to abandon high-school writing tactics. Whether she's slunk away in shame or is too angry with me to continue, she wasn't in class yesterday. The borderline hostile student I referred to yesterday is actually a very good student: she started the semester saying that everything confused her--looking for the kind of rigid structure high school provides--but now she's more synced in with the work. And the meeting with her today was great. She was pretty quiet--sometimes students really open up one-on-one, but she didn't--yet I think she got something helpful out of our conversation. It was almost exactly like the work I do in Advisement, except that she's my student, and I didn't have all my Advisement forms (which I'd have liked, actually: they're very helpful). She did smile a few times, and she seemed slightly more personable than she often is in class. I don't quite know what to make of her even yet, but that's OK. I'll either keep working with her, in which case she may eventually open up, or I won't. Either way suits me fine.
I had a good meeting with the Mystery Enthusiast, too. He has gotten permission from his professor this semester to submit yet another story for one of his papers for the class--but he's been given clear parameters. Obviously the idea is that he has to demonstrate that he understands the hallmarks of a specific subgenre (the horror mystery; the police procedural; the locked-room mystery)--and he does know some of those hallmarks, but his tendency is toward the kind of wild imagination that might potentially strain credulity. In any event, he had an enormous idea for the second story, but his professor (wisely) has given him some page limitations as well as the subgenre parameters, so we discussed how he might narrow the scope of the story he wants to tell.
And talking to him, it suddenly occurred to me that he'd probably love the Modesty Blaise books by Peter O'Donnell. (I know Sam's ears just perked up.) I'm going to get him one, maybe two (the first of the straight-up novels and one of the graphic novels, since the Enthusiast loves manga.) I'm half-tempted to read the books again--even though what made me think of them was the whole "straining credulity" thing. Last time I read them, I was snorting in derision--but they're still entertaining enough.
I got a decent run at the summer scheduling, too, but Bruce wasn't in today: one of his dogs is dying, maybe was put down today, so Bruce stayed home. I got to the point where I really need to run some ideas past Bruce to proceed, so the rest will have to wait until next week.
I'm sure I'm leaving out things I could mention, but this is enough rapid patter. Now, I have to go to that dinner for the retirees. I'd infinitely rather go home (introvert that I am), but I'll make nice with my colleagues--and since I've already packed up the Monday stuff (as well as whatever I need to mark over the weekend, and yes, I do need to mark stuff over the weekend), I can simply roll out the door....