You've been a lovely audience...

Every now and then you run into a class that just won't respond to you. You try every gimmick you know, you use active learning, you get creative, you even bring in food, but none of it makes a difference. They will not come around. I have such a class this semester (I won't say which one), and I find myself dreading the very sight of the classroom door on the days I have to teach it.

How can I describe this feeling? It's like the depression that used to set in on Sunday evenings when I worked some awful minimum wage job years ago. I wasn't actually at my crummy, low-paying job, but just the idea that I would be there in less than 12 hours was enough to ruin the evening.

Or imagine you are a really, really bad nightclub comedian. You know you stink, yet you are contractually obligated to do multiple shows a night with your tired, lame material. It's the third show, it's after midnight, and you are waiting to go on to tell your first lousy joke. You can't even stand your own voice. You look at your watch and think "twenty minutes. Just twenty minutes and it will all be over."

There are three more weeks left in this semester after tomorrow. Three more weeks and it will all be over.


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