Thursday, August 16, 2012
So Call Me Maybe
I think the beginning of the semester is like getting a circus launched. I'm the main clown. It takes lots of applying the mental make-up, finding the right costume -- especially when my room's average temperature is 84 degrees -- and bringing energy to entertain the crowd.
Ah, welcome back. I have J. in my class, formerly known as "Mr. Oh-No!" by my friend, as that was his (loud) response when she'd pass back a quiz. Note to self: send the quizzes over and J. over to the Disabled Students Office (DSPS) to be handed back. It's only Day Two, but I have to admit I've been charmed by the boy. He's a giant fellow, sits near the back and goes in-and-out-and-in-and-out. I think that's a coping mechanism and I'm not getting in the way of anyone coping with Critical Thinking.
I turned away five wanna-adds before class, and fended off another ten that first day. I usually only take the first one in the classroom, and that was a mistake. When I came home I found his earlier pleading email to me: "Dear Elizabeth" was how it started. Um, not a good start. Two days ago he wrote that he was trying to join the Marines and he'd be gone next week for both days. He didn't come to class yesterday. I'm done with him.
But the next student made it all worthwhile: the hours hunched over the computer getting their class blog up and ready, the writing of the assignments and hoping they get printed at Printing Services, the slavish attention to typos and errors (as I'm teaching an English class), among other things. Our class met yesterday in the library, and they had several "computer orientation" tasks to complete, one of them being an email sent from inside their class (Blackboard) software. I suggested when they send me that email, they tell me what a great professor I am, and how they'll work hard and earn an A, or how excited they are to learn about Critical Thinking. But I started laughing out loud when I received the following:
For those who haven't heard this song, here's the US Olympic Swim Team's version of it.