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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Holding on...

I don't have a lot to report about today--and it's getting later than I was aiming for, so I'll try to make this brief.

The good news is that, after I sent out the second round of academic progress reports, three students have reappeared in class. I mentioned at least one in a previous post: the one I'll meet with tomorrow, who is dealing with terrible anxiety. And I think I may have mentioned another; she's in the later 102, and although I don't think she's a brilliant student, she at least is bright enough to deserve more of a chance.

And yet one more showed up today: this young man seemed very bright and suddenly was missing for two weeks. Talking with him this evening, I found out that he works a midnight shift in order to get financial help with his college expenses--but he also is often called upon to handle child care for his six-month old niece, and as a result, he often goes without sleep. Not terribly surprisingly, he got sick--he reports that his mother is giving him a hard time about that, and now insists that he take Vitamin C, as if that will counteract fatigue--and equally without surprise, he found it very difficult to formulate his thoughts today in class. I think he's going to try to get his family to take the child-care responsibility off his plate, so he has time to sleep at least a little--but I almost cried when he was talking about his niece. He pulled out a photo of her (and she is completely adorable); I said something about how much he must love her, and he said, very simply and quietly, "Nothing is more important to me right now than that little girl."

I didn't offer him a full rescue: he does have to do the work. But I said we should keep in touch about his progress through the next essay. If he's unable to do his assignments and do them well, I'll suggest that he withdraw. As far as the college is concerned, he's made an attempt at the semester with full-time status, so if he withdraws later, he doesn't lose that status. I hope his job won't give him a hassle about it.

Those three students, so earnest and ready to do well--and another who came to the office today to talk about what he hasn't done, what he wants to do (and, honestly, said he wants a grade that is out of his reach at this point in his academic development, no matter how hard he tries)--make up, at least momentarily, for the idiots who cannot seem to follow the instructions, no matter how many times I go over them in class. That starts with the older student with all the health problems but extends to several other students, one of whom noted that he was missing one of the required steps of the essay because he didn't know about it--even though I went over it repeatedly in class. (Asshole.) But let me focus on the students who are re-emerging, who truly care, who want to do well.

I have to be here at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow to make up time in Advisement--and no, I probably won't even have all the reading notes ready to return to the SF students; I gave up on trying to get the essays marked yesterday. But I have to get home and try for sleep so I'm at least marginally functional tomorrow.

Maybe if I get some sleep, I'll remember where I put my brain...

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