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Monday, October 17, 2016

Neither horseshoes nor hand-grenades

So, "close" doesn't really count. There was a fire drill that slightly delayed the start of my 3:30 102 class--but not enough. I had three essays still to mark, and I was very fortunate that only two of the three students in question was present--and one of those writes beautifully, so I didn't have much to mark (and I didn't feel bad about returning the essay to her without combing through it). But those two students did have to twiddle their thumbs while I marked their essays.

I also was "close" on keeping to my intention about marking. I didn't comment much, I grant, and I did mark only mechanics problems--but I had also intended to only mark the first half of each essay and send them hunting for the rest, and--except for that one student in the 3:30 class--I marked every page of every essay.

Mistake. But ah well.

Since I've been back in the office, I've been doing clean-up of a lot of little fiddly bits. I e-mailed the students who were absent today to say that they can pick up their essays from my office door--and that they need to, as they'll need those marks to do their own mechanics review and have to submit their marked revisions with my marked first versions when they submit the final version on Wednesday. I resubmitted academic progress (or lack of progress) reports, as a number of students have slipped since I first filled out the reports. I cleaned up my calendar--and realized I need to reconfigure the conference times and days for the SF class in particular. So I e-mailed the administrative assistant of the Writing Center and asked her to adjust the grids on the reporting software. (I feel sheepish about that, as I've already asked her for a number of adjustments, and if I were in her shoes, I'd be getting very annoyed with the idiot professor who can't be clear right away about what she wants.) I reworked the sign-up sheets for the SF classes: among other things, adjusting the grids and looking at my calendar made it abundantly clear that I cannot make myself available during my advisement hours for more than a few sessions or I won't have time to make up the hours I would miss. That truncates the hours when I can meet with SF students--but I went through my calendar and assigned myself a make-up time for every session when I'm going to hold conference hours for the 102s. (I had missed a few when I did that before.)

Of course, I don't really know what kind of time I'm going to need by the time we get to the next essay, never mind the end of the semester: it may be I won't need to make up any time, as I might be able to ask students not to sign up during my Advisement hours and still have plenty of appointment slots--depending on how many students I lose.

Oh, but speaking of that, in doing the academic progress reports, I realized that several very good students have gone AWOL--so I made a pitch to get them back. I don't think it will work, but I tried. And I assured Rose in Bloom that she can withdraw from the class but still see me as a mentor--officially or not, I don't care.

What I did not do, of the things I was hoping to accomplish, was to get any SF essays marked. Tomorrow follows a Monday schedule, but if I count on having any time for that tomorrow in Advisement, it's almost a sure thing that I'll see students back-to-back--and that all of them will require lots of time. (That was certainly the case with a young man--who came in with his mother, who was pushing his little sister in a stroller. I ended up having to talk as much to the mother as to the student, even though the student was plenty smart--but neither student nor mother was very good at actually hearing what I had to say, or understanding that the requirements are the requirements, whether the requirements make sense to student and mother or not. Maddening.)

I'm quite certain there was something else I did this evening, but damned if I can remember what--and damned if I'm going to try, as what I need more than anything right now is to get out of here. My monster cold is trying to come back, and if I'm going to fight it off, I need to get some food in me and get to bed ASAP.

But at least I don't have to set the alarm for 6 a.m. tomorrow. God smiles.


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