Monday, May 03, 2010

If they only knew . . .

  • that sometimes their papers are so interesting that I have to set a timer so that I can stop commenting and go on to the next one.
  • that sometimes their papers have so many problems that I have to set a timer so that I can stop trying to untangle their sentences and go on to the next one.
  • that sometimes I laugh out loud because they've said something so clever or witty or insightful or true that I can't help it.
  • that sometimes I try to stop myself from exclaiming out loud if I've entered the paper zone known as the Howling Wilderness of Factoids and Generalizations.
  • that the test of perfection in MLA citation style is its invisibility: if it's done correctly, I won't notice it and will feel more free to concentrate on what they're saying.
  • that in reality I care a whole lot less about correct MLA citation style than they think I do.
  • that although I am impartial in that I look at each paper as a fresh start and not based on what the student has done before, sometimes I can hear their voices as I read.
  • that although I have an elaborate bookkeeping system for tracking who turned in what and when, at this point in the semester I may forget that something came in a little late.
  • that if they didn't turn in something despite a reminder from me, I have to tell myself it's not my fault, and I spend more time thinking about their failure to turn it in than I should.
  • that I think about this even though I know that they may be attending my classes for all sorts of reasons, and doing the best work that they can do may not be at the top of their list of life priorities right now.
  • that I'm looking forward as much as they are to the real end of the semester, when finals are over and grades are in, and I can be put back into my pod person teacher closet (as they see it) until next fall.

3 comments:

Ink said...

What a great list!

Especially love:
"--that the test of perfection in MLA citation style is its invisibility: if it's done correctly, I won't notice it and will feel more free to concentrate on what they're saying.
--that in reality I care a whole lot less about correct MLA citation style than they think I do."

The Bittersweet Girl said...

"the test of perfection in MLA citation style is its invisibility"

Brilliant. I'm going to be using that in my classes in the future.

undine said...

Thanks, Ink, and Bittersweet Girl! Now if I could just make my students believe that . . .