Friday, December 12, 2008


Except for posting the grades in Compass...

I just finished reading the worst set of essays I've ever read.  It's as though they universally forgot everything I told them about writing essays--no thesis statements (or lame ones), no proofreading--you name it.  And I told them that.  I believe in truth.  And I let them know why I thought that, too.

Well, at least I'm done for now.  I don't have any more papers to grade for the semester. 

After I post the grades, I'm going to write for a while, maybe take a nap, maybe bake some banana bread.  I don't know.  I think I'll just wait a while before I jump into the "getting ready for next semester" mode, though I did sneak into that yesterday in a desperate attempt to NOT grade those essays.


Yesterday, I did manage to grade an entire set of finals for my Intro to Fiction class.  That was one of the best classes this semester.  My students were funny.  I always have to overcome the "I don't think fiction is important" mentality--a challenge--before we get down to business.  By the end of this semester, though, some of my students were writing 14-page papers (and they're not English majors!); they still need help with thesis statements, but at least they're thinking and developing opinions.  And they'll disagree with me and one another, which is fine as long as they can support their ideas.

I'm just ready for a break.  Teaching five classes--four of them writing classes--is not a picnic.  I taught a freshman comp & lit course online for the first time this semester and that was a challenge, too, though I automated most of the quizzes so I didn't have to grade a ton of papers--just a couple of writing assignments each week.

In the spring, I'm going in two days a week (I hope that doesn't change), and teaching two on line classes; in the fall, if I get the freshman comp (part 1) on line, I'll be prepping four classes and teaching three on line.  I must be crazy.

I do like teaching on line, but I like face-to-face interactions, too.  On line teaching allows me the freedom to work from home, but I like seeing my students and talking with them.  If I could only get more of them to use Skype, that would be good. 

Well, time for more coffee and to tackle a novel.  Later....

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