Monday, November 30, 2009

Hansel and Gretel

As my first semester in Graduate School winds down I find myself eagerly awaiting the end. Sure, I've always looked forward to vacations and such, but somehow I feel like I've been in the wringer more than usual--and I've actually had a pretty light course load.

I suspect my anxiety and anticipation for the end of the semester is closely linked to the two English 101 class I teach ending as well. I figure I've ready around 10 papers from each of my 52 students (5 rough drafts and 5 final drafts), at roughly 4 pages each paper. That comes out to over 2,000 pages of student work graded, edited, feedback given, complimented, etc. Sheesh! No wonder I don't seem to have time for my own school work. Needless to say my anticipation is building--only 3 more class periods and counting.

Although I moan and complain, I actually do enjoy my students--for the most part. I get exasperated and frustrated when I see a paper that has weaknesses, faults, etc., that I know I talked to the student about and suggested they correct/revise, but they didn't. Lazy! I have to constantly remind myself that they're only freshman, away from home for the first time (for the most part), and they're just beginning their college careers. But seriously, can't they take a little time for accountability. I can't count the number of times I've had excuse after excuse for why a paper wasn't turned in on time or why the student didn't come to class. Do they seriously think I'm that gullible? Enough with the rant.

On to the reason for the picture. As I walked to my first class this morning (one that I teach) I was enjoying the crisp fall weather and blue sky above. I'll admit I'm a morning person and I don't mind waking up early for class. So on this first day back from Thanksgiving Break I noticed there was a trail of green beads underfoot on the walkway. They weren't blazing emerald in color or subtle jade, they were glistening green synthetic beads. But only the best plastic! As I followed this adorned path I felt a bit like Gretel, of Hansel and Gretel fame, as it seemed to lead me directly to the door of the building I begin my day in. Maybe it's a sign that teaching, and school in general, is an adventure and I should enjoy the journey. Then again, maybe it's not, but that's how I'm going to take it!

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