So, last appointment of the day was with the young man who gave me his mother's cell phone number for his contact information. I got a call a few minutes after his appointment was to have started--his mother. He had called her, confused about why no one was in the classroom. (Note: I posted a sign outside the room reminding students that this week there would be conferences in my office. I said that in class. I think I said it in an e-mail to him as well.) I explained; she said she'd call him back. I waited ... and just as I was about to put a sign on the door saying that I'd waited as long as I was going to, he came shuffling along, looking lost.
At first, I was pretty impatient and gruff--but he looked so small and pitiful, and he's so earnest and tender that I couldn't stay mad. I went through everything as slowly and carefully as I could. He repeated some of it back to me--incorrectly--so I said it again, and eventually, he understood at least part of what I was saying. We'll see how he does. He's one of those difficult cases: it's just hard to tell whether he can pull himself up just high enough to get to the top of the climb or whether he'll fall. I honestly wouldn't be surprised either way.
And honestly, I found him a lot easier to be a softie with than the guy who made a point of introducing himself to me after the first class and who told me how seriously he takes school. He didn't submit an essay because it would have been "crap" and he knows he's supposed to be working on his writing skills. I pointed out that "crap" would at least give us something to work on; as it is, his writing can't improve because there is no writing to improve. I actually suggested that he consider withdrawing.
It probably is time to start cutting some of them loose: the lazy, the uninvested. The ones who care--regardless of skill level--I'm happy to keep on with.
I am far too tired to say much more tonight. I will probably be back here tomorrow, or if not tomorrow then Saturday, just sorting through what I have: what handouts go to which classes when, what do I have in the way of assignments I have to mark, do I have all the rubrics I need...
My profound hope is that, over the break, I can get on top of the work. I almost don't care if I sleep (except insofar as sleeping improves my efficiency). I just want to come back from the break and feel like I have a little teeny pocket of air to breathe before the next wave hits.
For now, all the mess is just going to remain a mess. I'm not even watering the plants. I'm staggering out of here. I am certain to be posting over the break (when I work, I tend to post)--but perhaps not on the regular schedule.
Enough. I'm outta here.