n. infantile pattern of suckle-swallow movement in which the tongue is placed between incisor teeth or between alveolar ridges during initial stage of swallowing (if persistent can lead to various dental abnormalities) v. [content removed due to Bush campaign to clean up the internet] n. act of nyah-nyah v. pursuing with relentless abandon the need to masticate and thrust the world into every bodily incarnation in order to transform it, via the act of salivation, into nutritive agency

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

teaching, gonna pull my hair out

Note to self: 18 is 18 whether at art school or otherwise.

Note to self: this school is so heterogenous it amazes me.

Note to self: 3 hours once a week f-ing sucks.

Yeah, I've been having intense personal crises over teaching and am at that stage where I'm convinced I'm a personal failure and should scrap together my honor, shave off all my hair, and dress in black.

No, I've never been told I'm dramatic. Shut up.

The thing is, by the time I've figured out that something went wrong, a whole week has gone by and I can't go back in time and undo anything. My students are turning nothing in on time, and skipping assignments, and not enjoying their readings, and turning in the same draft of a paper over three weeks of a "revision" process, and I'm supposed to be evaluating these papers now with a little explicit grid that I have that shows where they're developing and where they still have lots of room to grow, and the thing is: they're not changing anything, so I have no means to assess how they're changing. Or I simply don't have their papers.

And man, this is a no-grade class, which I've emphasized to my obvious detriment although I've pointed out that 5 categories for evaluation that they need to get a satisfactory in doesn't exactly make an easy breeze. So, I can't just slap a D on half their papers and say: you suck, you didn't even take a chance which I said was the main thing I was looking for. So I don't know what to do. I'm apparently giving low satisfactories or unsatisfactories to half the class, but does that mean in the balance of things I have to read more drafts? On top of new drafts?

And the thing is, I know I have mismanaged time in class and haven't emphasized what I needed to emphasize enough, but I've been really uncomfortable trying to cram so much into one class at a time and create a sense of continuity. Not to mention that in addition to teaching them to write an essay, I'm supposed to be moving around a big, important topic that I really love and want to talk about - and I have lots of articles I want to give them but: when can I give it to them if they have to read about writing essays and get their money's worth out of the book I made them get? and if they aren't even doing the writing that's the basis for the class?

I think I'm going to ditch the writing book for a while and hope they don't notice until the end, when I can make them read some more from it. Shit. Shit. Shit.

Anyhow, I'm sure life is good and I'm overreacting, and they will shape up, and I needn't shave my head, but:

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