So, I reworked the instructions for reading notes--which may or may not have improved their usefulness for students. And I spent some time writing up a little thing of overall themes in Frankenstein, to provide some kind of toe-hold for students as they embark on the work. I think I'll do the same for all the novels we read this semester: it goes against the grain, but I think these particular students need the boost.
It all kind of wears me out. I'm not sure whether the feeling of being tired arises simply from the expenditure of mental energy or whether it arises from "anger and the soul's resistance" (a phrase from Mary Renault's The Persian Boy, with I've been rereading for about the hundredth time). I don't like having to hold the students' hands as much as seems necessary.
And I may end up booting all of this in a few weeks, when I rethink. I realized earlier that a lot of this work is probably relatively useless, as by the end of summer I will not only have forgotten what I've done but I'll likely have changed my mind significantly about what I want to do.
I'm still on the fence about whether to make that one book mandatory or suggested. I think I'll have to see what the assignment schedule looks like, as I know there is only so much reading I can require at a time...
I also got the first version of the final essay from one of the two students who got an incomplete. That means I have to read and respond to the damned thing, which of course I'm resisting like mad. Part of me thinks, "Do it now and get it over with," but I know it makes more sense to do it tomorrow. I've reached the point in the afternoon when my reserves dip down pretty low; my choices are nap or go out on the bike. It's a gorgeous day--again--so I'll probably go out on the bike, but it's an effort of will not to just collapse on the sofa. I know, however, from experience that collapsing on the sofa can sometimes lead to a weariness of the soul that is not good for me on any level. But I make no promises just yet. I'll sort out the stuff I've pulled off shelves, so I won't be tripping over it as I move around the room--and then I'll see where my energy levels are.
This strange, bumpy rhythm of being on break but still working: I'm not quite sure what to make of it, but I'll keep on with it for a while. When I'm out of town later in the summer, blog posts probably will stop entirely (and I'll lose 50% of my readers, if not more), but that's not anything to think about now. Now, all I have to think about is, well, now.