The general attitude this week is "I guess I'm really in school now." That applies not only to the students, but also to me, the professor. I guess I'm really in school means that I'm used to dragging myself home on Wednesday night to stand in front of the refrigerator looking for something to fix for dinner, then calling Dave and saying, "Meet you at the Vietnamese place?" Only this week I called him when I was at a dead stop on the 3-story flyover at the freeway interchange. He told me it was "orange and red" all the way home, so to go back roads. And then I said I'd meet him at the Mongolian Barbeque.
It also means we survived J's first experience at testing. I handed out a pre-announced pop quiz (is there such a thing?) and within moments after writing his name, he started freaking out. "Oh, oh, um, um" and squeaks and shifting and sighs. I directed him to head over to the Disabled Students Office across the way to take his test. As he got up to leave, the girl with the purple hair told him to hold out his hand. He did, and she sprayed something on his wrist. "For stress," she whispered. "Okay," he said as he sailed out the door. Maybe I need some of that spray: I received word that I'll be evaluated this semester by one of the full-timers.
Mr. Call Me Maybe student looked like he lost his best friend in class, sitting there morosely the entire time. Maybe it didn't help that it was 81 degrees in the classroom. The fellow behind him had three paper towels on his desk, using them to mop up the beads of sweat that never stopped once during the two hours of class, and occasionally running the paper towel all over his head to try and stay dry.
I gave an MLA test (review) and cut the usual edition by 2/3. It still took some of them nearly 45 minutes to finish; I guess these are the students who are a bit rusty at this. Our color printer died, nearly, so we got a new one of those on deal. I had trips to the Mammogram Shop, the Dermatologist's Shop, the X-ray shop, the Grocery Shop, the Gas Shop, Target Shop, where I got myself a nice new pack of colored pencils for annotating my nice new textbooks. I rebelled against lesson prep one afternoon and sewed the binding on my Scrappy Stars quilt, just to get my hands on the cloth.
The bigger panic, though, lies within myself. I need to get these students from Point A on this shore to Point B across the river, and I am still crafting the boat they need to get in to make the journey. I just don't know the material that well, and I wish it were on the tip of my tongue, rather than having that vague sort of recollection of having read something once that pertained to this topic.
Welcome back, everyone. Two weeks gone, sixteen to go.