Step 1: "Sorry for missing class on Tuesday. I had three exams between Monday and Tuesday so my attention was diverted. Could you please help me with my citations? Since I never attended the Mechanic's Review, I was not able to receive your help."
Step 2: "also what page on the PSM can i find how to properly add citations into my essay because you marked it wrong on my essay."
Step 3: "I have finished all the work I need for today's class except the revision plan. I am not sure what the revision plan is. Can you please elaborate?"
Answer to all three questions: there are handouts. I talked about this in class. We went over this in conference. The information is in your handbooks. And no, I'm not going to teach you the class via e-mail.
OK, I confess: These were not all from the same student--but I got them all in a wodge this morning, and I got so cranky, I nearly strangled a student who was actually being very diligent and worrying about an absence she knows will occur in April. I also didn't receive all of the "Step 1" message until just now, for some reason, so I didn't see that the student actually needed to know where to find the title and copyright pages for the anthologies I used for the class reader--but even so, "I was more concerned about other classes" isn't tailor made to engender a positive and helpful response from me.
Plus, I'm just tired and cranky anyway. Sue me. Revoke my tenure.
Given my cranky state, it was most interesting to receive an invitation to participate in a survey generated by the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE) at Harvard University. Our new academic VP apparently provided a list of people to be surveyed; I don't know if it was our entire faculty or only some of us--but the questions sure gave me an opportunity to blow off some steam about the path the Board and Administration seem to be forcing us down. The only problem I had was that some questions I couldn't answer without potentially implicating the senate, which I did not want to do; my answers would have been very different if the question had asked about how I felt in terms of the administration versus how I felt about any faculty entity. There was a question at the end about the ONE thing that I thought was most important to job satisfaction--and it was an open text box, so man, I went to town. "Shared governance" means shared, goddammit, and not just shared by the administration and the BOT. Straight-jacketed uniformity is contrary to the goals of actual education, though it may provide nice, neat beans to count.
(cue sound effects: snarling; chains rattling; loud, basso profundo German shepherd barking...)
(So, and how are you?)
On a much more positive note, classes were OK--not wonderful, but OK. We started on poetry today, and that can be dicey, but I didn't get the sense that they were immediately checking out (except the young man who falls asleep every class; I need to talk with him). The 5:30 class let me know there were howling blunders in the grade calculation sheet I had provided. I don't know what I printed, but it isn't what I have saved on the computer, which was correct. In any event, I've printed out the correct pages and will copy them before Tuesday's classes--and I did uncover an error on the syllabus when I was checking the grade sheet, so I'll fix that with them in class.
And just ... like ... that, my brain has ceased to want to even glance at anything having anything to do with work. I am deliberately leaving all work here in the office, not taking a smidgen home with me. I may regret that down the line, but having a weekend when I don't have to look at student assignments will be nothing short of bliss--and the fact that I'm caught up enough that I can even risk it is heaven in itself.
I will now put the pages to be photocopied prominently on top of the stacks of shit on my desk, put my water bottle in my tote bag, and walk insouciantly out the door.