Tuesday, December 21, 2004


done donE doNE dONE DONE!!!!

It's true. With only 72 minutes before the final grade posting deadline, I have posted my grades and I am done with this crazy semester. Now, this feels slightly anticlimactic since I posted grades for my two non-writing classes before now - always much more exciting to post all grades at once - but nevertheless, I feel a monumental sense of relief. I may have gotten a couple of the grades wrong because of my disorganized state (see yesterday's post) but that's something I can fix in the new year if necessary. I didn't feel like I gave the wrong grades to anybody, if that's any consolation to myself (though I'm not sure it is).

What does make me feel great is the following email I got from a student in my grad class yesterday. Before I post it here, though, some backstory. When this class first began I pretty much hated it. I felt like the students weren't up to doing graduate-level work - or what I think of as graduate-level work, and I worried that I wouldn't be able to break them out of their habit of waiting for me to just tell them everything about the texts that we were reading. Well, as I got to know them better, I realized it wasn't anything to do with them not being up to the task - it was about the fact that they had never been in a class that expected of them what I expected. Now, with the class over, I'm really pleased with how it went. The students came really far over the course of the semester, and while I still think that they for the most part need to work on bringing their writing skills up to par, I don't feel like the course that I offered was a sham of a graduate seminar (which I had feared originally). But so anyway, one of my students - my best student - works in the Dean's office at RCU and she sent me the following email yesterday after I had posted the grades:

"Dr. Crazy,

Now that grades have been entered,*** I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your class. With an undergrad in English, I always enjoyed literature classes, but I don’t think that I ever had the experience that I had in your class this semester. The analysis we did of the texts and the poems, and your ability to conduct such in-depth discussions was fantastic. Every Friday I would come in the Dean’s Office, and tell Director of Master's Program and Dean that your class rocked.

I really enjoyed the semester, and I hope to be able to take another class from you in the future.

Have a great holiday.

Dr. Crazy's Favorite Student Ever"

See what I mean about how this place needs me? See what I mean about how the work that I do here, while grueling in some regards, is rewarding? Of course, today after I posted the grades from my freshmen classes, I also got this email:

"What did I get on my last paper?

After I revised my comparison paper and thought I did good on my last paper, I thought I was going to get an A in the class."

That's right - no salutation, no signature, no nothing. Students are fucking punks. I'll tell you why you didn't get an A you little ass - because it was a writing class and you still don't understand that one does things well - not good! Of course, my reply was much more diplomatic than this:
You got a B on the last paper (which is not at all a bad grade) and you got a B on the revision of the comparison paper revision.

I’m sorry you’re disappointed not to have gotten an A, but you should be proud of the B that you earned. Let me know if you have questions. I’ll be out of town over the break but I’d be happy to meet with you in the New Year.

Dr. C

Of course, I'm lying when I say I'd be happy to meet with the student, but whatever. It never hurts to pretend to be approachable and nice and caring.

So, that's the wrap-up of my semester, I guess. I should finish up Christmas shopping today (got most of it done yesterday) and run some errands, and then I should go home and write some letters of recommendation that I must mail off before I leave town for the holidays. Not sure whether I have the motivation for any of this. May put off until tomorrow what I should probably do today. But if I do that then I really should clean my house today, which I don't want to do either. Man, it's hard when one doesn't want to do anything at all.

*** Incidentally, my first reading of this was that she waited until she got an A to send the email, but upon further reflection she was in no danger of not getting an A, and thus I now realize that she waited because she didn't want to appear to be brown-nosing. I'm so cynical after all of the crap that I deal with from most students that I didn't realize anybody would say such nice things just out of niceness and want me to know that!

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