Monday, April 28, 2008

End-of-semester certainties

It's said that there's nothing certain in life but death and taxes. I disagree. If you teach, here are a few things you can count on:

1. The university's server will slow to a crawl and grind to a complete halt periodically as students try to access materials that they've cheerfully ignored all semester.

2. Students you haven't seen for a few weeks and whom you've assumed have dropped the class will write back to say this: "Hi! I was just really busy with the paper for another class, so I haven't been to your class for a while . I thought I'd drop by your office during finals week so we could discuss what I could do for extra credit to make up for the absences."

3. A flurry of awards ceremonies, receptions, and parties, although welcome and necessary, will cut into your grading time

4. You will find your affection for your students competing with your ethical sense of grading standards and will be reluctant to assign grades. Alternately, you will assign grades and then berate yourself for being (1) too lenient or (2) too harsh. You will vow to be better (more rigorous/less exacting) in the fall.

Any others?

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