Archive for November 8th, 2007

Future shock

Back in September I predicted that I was going to be very happy that I’d dropped another one of my 2YC classes (2YC is on the quarter system and started in late September), and now that it’s the second week in November, I am indeed very happy that I did that.  This is such a tough schedule as it is that anything extra, like the meeting I attended today, feels like a burden and makes me crabby and resentful.

I have four more Terrible Tuesdays to get through, and then the Tuesday night class ends, which will improve Tuesdays enormously.  Not that I don’t like that class–I do–but it makes Tuesday such a long day.  And it makes it really, really hard to get up on Wednesday morning.  This week’s class went pretty well, I think, even though the time change made it feel even later. 

Next week features Veterans Day, which lightens up my Monday schedule a bit (NCC is closed, but 2YC is open), and the following week, of course, includes Thanksgiving.

In short, the end is in sight, although I will have many stacks of papers to read before I get there.  And, more importantly, I believe I am looking at a much more sensible schedule in the New Year, thanks in large part to New RU.  The missing piece of the puzzle is that I don’t know yet whether NCC will have classes for me in spring semester.  (I am teaching one course in their winter intersession, but haven’t heard about spring yet.) 

I’ve been spending an hour in the Snork Maiden’s classroom each week.  I go during writing time and help students generate ideas for their writing, edit and add detail to their rough drafts, and proofread their final drafts.  It is really very much like conferencing with college students, except the chairs are smaller.  Last week, helping to proofread, I pointed out to a boy that he’d used “there” when he meant “their.”  He made an “oops” face and, looking embarrassed, said, “I mix those up sometimes.”  “Justin,” I said, “I teach 20-year-olds who make that exact same mistake all the time.”  His mouth fell open.  I’m not sure he believed me.  It’s actually kind of amazing to see the very clear continuum from third-grade writing to college writing.  Mrs. W., the teacher, urges them to add rich detail, which is what I am always saying, in nearly the same words, in college classrooms all over town.  And, of course, the mistakes.  You’d think that somewhere between 8 and 20, we’d be able to teach them to distinguish among there, their, and they’re, but many of them, of course, do not learn.  (Justin probably will–he seems interested in learning, at least.  I showed him the trick of remembering that there has here in it.  I should tell the Snork Maiden, too.)