Not all roses

I am afraid that my last post about my (mostly positive) student conferences has cast too rosy a glow on my life at the moment. This is more of what an average day looks like:

  • Having to inform yet another student that they have failed the course due to too many absences.
  • Spending all weekend grading essays for one class, then realizing at 11PM on Sunday night that I haven’t done my lesson planning for the week.
  • Sitting in a parking lot at 9PM eating an overpriced sandwich for dinner–
  • –or coming home and having cereal for dinner, again.
  • When I’m not grading or lesson planning, I’m working on job applications–
  • –all the while realizing that I am one out of hundreds applying for the same twenty-two (22) medieval literature positions currently being advertised–
  • –and also aware of the fact that I’m not really a strong candidate until I manage to publish something, which I can’t do, because I don’t have time to revise my article, because of teaching and grading.
  • Wishing that being able to construct a grammatically correct sentence would be an entrance requirement for university.

Or, today’s combination of events: starting the week on too little sleep (because of staying up late to lesson plan and then having to sleep on the couch because of noisy upstairs neighbours) and after class having a student ask if I could excuse his absence from last week — without Student Life approval — because he had been in jail and didn’t want Student Life to know. I said no. (Thinking to myself: “You have to deal with the consequences of your life choices.”)

BUT, I try to find crumbs of good things, here and there. Like the comments I leave on some of my students essays:

  • “This is an essay, not a mystery novel. State your thesis at the beginning.”
  • “What are you responding to with this statement? Starting ‘in media res’ might work for fiction, but not in an essay.”
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