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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Oh, good. Oh dear.

Good: a student who had plagiarized homework in the SF class and who was clearly out of his depth withdrew today. I feel bad that the semester didn't work out for him, but it's in his best interests to withdraw--and it certainly makes my life easier.

Oh dear: my Rose in Bloom was not in class again today. I just called and left a message for her, all but begging her to stay in the class, promising by everything I hold holy that I will work out a solution for her that allows her to get what she wants to out of the experience without driving her around the bend, asking her to please meet with me so we can talk out a solution.

But, apropos of last night's--or, more accurately, yesterday afternoon's--blog post, today apparently whoever has been moving the wall moved it far away from me, as it's after 8, and I have to force myself to go home. I'm on the verge of getting sick (and not doing well with maintaining my "I refuse to get this cold" regimen), so my ass has been soundly kicked in terms of my physical stamina--but my brain is in overdrive.

Mostly, I'm driven by a desire to keep things from piling up much deeper than they already have. (See? I knew yesterday's early bail on top of a not-productive weekend would come around to bite me, and I feel the tooth marks in my ass right now, never mind when things get closer to crisis point.) Assignments from the SF students in particular are starting to pile up--and between 4:45 tomorrow and Tuesday whenever I pack my tents (tense?), I have to mark all the 102 first essay submissions.

Oy gevalt.

Of course, sitting here blogging doesn't help me get anything done, in particular, except the reframing and venting that I've come to rely on. And part of the reframing is to remind myself of good things that have transpired today.

First a little whipping of myself with knouts: I was afraid I was going to be late to the department meeting, and I had agreed to speak on Scott's behalf about any seminar hours updates. As it turned out, I was there before Bruce started the meeting, and we didn't get around to seminar hours at all--because most of the meeting went to discussion about more Middle States mishigas, specifically another infuriating document composed by one of our deans, apparently to sneer at and traduce the faculty in the guise of following a Middle States directive and the BOT's latest power grab, also in the guise of addressing a concern raised by Middle States. William asked the question I've wanted an answer to for some time: What motivates the Board? What do they actually want, apart from to win a pissing contest in which they're the only ones actually pissing? There was no good answer to that, except that "everything is political." Not very comforting, that. So lots of boola-boola as some of our colleagues provide a  transparent view of all the behind-the-scenes scrambling around that's going on.

One more lash: I completely forgot I was supposed to be in P&B after class. I talked with Kristin a bit, then got talking to Kim, one of the colleagues revealing what's going on behind the scenes, and a beautifully intelligent and irreverent human being. Fortunately, I hadn't missed much where my input was needed, so, dodged another bullet there.

But class: now that's good news. A lot of students were absent today--some, I suspect, because they hadn't done the reading and didn't want to be thrown out of class--but those who were there were doing great work. They're still struggling some with Oryx and Crake, despite my scaffolding last class, but they were asking good questions, bringing up good ideas, very lively discussion both in their groups and with the class as a whole. I'm pleased, and I hope like mad that kind of work continues. Oh, and the seemingly hostile student (fiance of the overly emotional student) was more open today. He still seems resistant, but he did smile a few times--and contributed to the class discussion, so that's good.

I was faintly annoyed that the fiances both brought up the "Atwood could have done a better job with X" kind of response, but I pointed out that their response was coming from their own aesthetic and didn't indicate a failure on Atwood's part at all. But in addition to that, they actually did have some very good ideas to share, especially the young woman.

Well, now I have hit the wall, so enough for today. I don't even know what I'm putting off thinking about right now: I'm suddenly so over-done that I can't think of anything else at all except getting home and having dinner. Some days are just like that.

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