My body nicely manufactured an incipient migraine for me today, so I could feel more justified in calling in sick to Advisement. I might as well have called in sick to Nature in Lit; the students are starting to disappoint the hell out of me. There is almost no class discussion, and even in their groups, they discuss for about 15 minutes and then, "We finished." Fifteen minutes to discuss Thoreau's essay "Walking." Fifteen minutes to discuss portions of Emerson's "Nature." Fifteen minutes to discuss the chapter "Spring" from Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. These are rich readings, but the students are locked into generalizations that pretty much lead to "he/she appreciates nature."
Fuck me sideways. Well, as one of my students said in a response to one of the readings, "what are you gonna do?" Bashing my head against a wall doesn't seem tremendously productive. I think I may have to ask the students what they think will help, because right now, I'm ready to just take attendance, collect homework, and dismiss them. (I can't actually do that, of course, but I'm not sure what I can do.)
Meanwhile, I keep adjusting the order in which I want to address all the stuff I have to mark and return. I'm conflicted between doing the most important stuff first and doing the little stuff first to clear my feet for the important stuff. At the moment, I'm leaning toward the latter--especially if I can return homework to the 102s tomorrow.
In any event, I am going to leave here in about 15 minutes. I truly am exhausted; I truly do have at least a bit of a headache, and I truly do believe that being home--even if I don't get any work done--will be beneficial. I'm operating on the assumption that I will be teaching tomorrow--and I hope to hell tomorrow is a better day, but I'm not really sanguine about the chances of that. I realize that the poems I assigned are almost tailor-made to produce clichéd, sentimentalized pabulum. O joy, o rapture.
Oh to hell with it. I'm heading out.