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Monday, May 16, 2016

Unusual...

Normally, I stay in the office on the last official day of the semester, for however long it takes, to get my final grades all in: everything read, graded, numbers crunched, paperwork filled out, Banner entries completed. The few semesters when I haven't done that, I've been on an airplane to Montana and have had to start my break in my mom's house finalizing my grading.

This semester, I've marked all the papers for students who want them back, and I talked to the two problematic students from the Poetry class. Miss Incomprehensible realized very quickly the problem with her essay, when I started to read it aloud to her. Getting her to understand how to fix it was a different issue, as the problem went well beyond the fact that her sentences were meaningless: she didn't have a clear idea for a thesis either (possibly because she hadn't re-read the poems before writing the paper). In any event, since I am giving the other student the opportunity to revise for better grads, I felt I should give Miss Incomprehensible the same option. So, she has until next Wednesday to "revise" her final paper and submit it to me.

The other student--Miss Late Is Better Than Never--seemed to understand what she needs to do to write papers that would meet college standards for any professor. I'm not sure whether she can do it; there is usually a gap between grasping a concept and being able to execute it. However, I'll be optimistic about what I might see from her next week. She's revising all three of her essays--probably a flagrant misuse of the Incomplete grade--but if she learns something from it, well and good.

I would be more annoyed about the fact that I have to return to campus several times to read, evaluate, and assign grades to these trailing "incomplete" assignments, but I know I can make good use of the time. I can clean my bookshelves (which are starting to look like the stacks of unfiled stuff is breeding and multiplying); I can do some class prep for next semester; eventually, I can do the preliminary scheduling for fall adjuncts.

I spoke with Bruce briefly today about the summer scheduling. Once again, he's at the point where it's all in his head, so I'd be more of a hindrance than a help--at least until Wednesday. He's not even sure he'll need me on Wednesday, so I may get a day off that I wasn't anticipating (though at the moment, I anticipate that I will be here for one reason or another). He's more worried about fall, and rightly: we can already see that enrollment is drastically down from previous years, and I don't know what we're going to do even to cover the schedules for full-time faculty, never mind the adjuncts. I'm anticipating having to spend more time than usual here in August--which puts a bit of a wrench in potential summer plans, but I'll pin Bruce down to dates before the end of this week, and then hope to hell we stick to that plan. (He's famous for forgetting what we'd agreed upon and either not being here when I show up or showing up and being surprised that I'm not here.)

In any event, tomorrow I will spend a good chunk of the day on scheduling. We're starting later than usual, because of William's bus schedule: 11, instead of 10 or 10:30. That does mean we're likely to go later than usual, too, so I'm pretty sure I need to get up extra early so I can put in some time on my grading before we start scheduling. I'm going to try to finish the M/W 101 tonight, if I can, but if not? Well, tomorrow will just have to do.

Right now, the thing I'm most looking forward to is having nothing to do with classes on my desk: nothing to mark, record, fill out. So, here's hoping it all happens tomorrow.

That's about it for now--because I do want to get one more whack in at the M/W 101's grades before I toddle off. I'll certainly post tomorrow with an update--and periodically over the next weeks, as I finalize those incompletes and do whatever else needs doing before August. You'll hear all about it, I'm sure.


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