Friday, November 18, 2005

cold and weary

Everyone told me years ago that when I moved up north, I'd get to experience the change of seasons. They lie in fundamental ways.

Yesterday, it suddenly got cold. There's a very evocative scene in Bone where one minute it's fall, and the next minute, a solid sheet of snow, two foot thick, falls from the sky in one giant layer...and after that event, it is definitely, unequivocally winter. That's what yesterday felt like. It went from mid 50 degree, jean jacket weather to 28 degree high, quilted jacket and scarf time.

I thought that I felt it in my bones, but upon reflection, that's just the weariness. Sixteen credit hours of composition. Two hour blocks of "Mike as Professor" performance, and two of those back to back. Marathon grading sessions, extending over to the weekends. I'm tired. I see thesis sentences gone awry in my sleep. I think in terms of five paragraph essays.

For the first time, I did one of the worst things for a teacher to do...I changed my teaching (paper grading specifically) not for the benefit of the students but for my own purposes. I'm not sure if I can keep giving it my all, do what's best for the students, and still get everything done....but I'm still trying, in spite of the impending feeling of impossibility.

Maybe I just need sleep, rest, time away. The winter fell quickly...I just hope the break comes in as equally a swift fashion.


Roo from said...

Changing your grading is not even close to one of the worst things a teacher can do. (I believe that label goes to sleeping with students.) Sometimes, there's just nothing else you can do - don't beat yourself up. Especially not this close to the end of the semester (four more weeks!) and the holidays.

Jennifer said...

Mike - I agree - don't fret about changing your teaching/grading so you keep sane. It's what all sessional/adjunct people do - you're not paid enough to be "creative!"

uggg -the 5 paragraph essay! I'm on a mission this year to break my students from this habit. I tell them - that's the way you wrote in high school, we're in university now, your essay arguments are more complex than 5 paragraphs. But, I don't teach comp. so I can be a bit more demanding on them.

Sorry to hear it's cold there. We had 2 days of near freezing cold, then it warmed up today. I hear we'll get snow for real this week. I love the first real snowfall (none of this snow dusting crap)....