Dubiety thy name is February
Feb. 15, 2011 "Mixed Feelings at Midterms"
It's midterm. The grades had to be turned in by noon today. In my Humanities course about half of the students have figured me out and are now starting to look for that sweet spot where they can get the grade they want for the least amount of effort. Another 25 percent are still getting up to speed, and another is just now figuring it all out.February 26, 2010 "Five Minutes Later"
We had to have a little "Come to Shakespeare" moment in which I reminded them of the standards I was expecting in response papers, the need to actually read the play (yes, I know it's a difficult text) and not to turn in sloppy, unproofed work. We did practice exercises all morning, making generalizations and summarizing textual evidence for events in Act IV of King Lear. This was all stuff we covered the first two weeks of class, but sometimes you just have to double back.
[Today] I bombed. No, I mean really bombed, H-bombed. Everything I tried was not working, unconnected, disjointed, forced and lame. It was the worst class of this semester so far. I had planned to show a few minutes of a documentary to make a point, but the class was going so badly I decided to let the video run for an extra ten minutes to kill off the hour. Meanwhile, I stood in the darkness at the rear of the room filled with a sense of hapless ineptitude. How could I go from such heights to such depths? Sheez, this job! It can make you feel like a genius and five minutes later you're a bum.
February 10, 2009: "And then Blossom Deary died..."
It's the middle of the semester. The economy is tanking. People are losing their jobs and I am stinking it up in the classroom. The world is February gray and filthy with sand and melting snow. And then I go on line and see that Blossom Deary died.Yep, it's February. I haven't walked out of a classroom with a good teaching high for over two weeks. I've screwed up any number of things, confused the students and now doubt everything about my teaching. Enterprises of great pith and moment have indeed turned awry. In other words, this semester is right on schedule.