So I have great news!! Well, so The J made it in safe and sound on Monday night to home city and had a nice time with the fam. They had a birthday celebration for him Tuesday; he has another one tonight with his pops and that family. They still have yet to have made travel arrangements for him, so he was going to rent a car and drive Friday and get here on Saturday afternoon, which I wasn’t thrilled about simply because you know, he’s been at war and traveling already for like two weeks, and it’s a looooooooooong drive from there to here. I know because I’ve done it about 10 times already back and forth. Confronted with a long drive, he decided that he’d rather fly, so he’s going to be here TOMORROW!! I’m sooooooooooooo very excited. I can’t even put into words how excited I am that he’s going to be home, finally. Of course, I thought I had all day tomorrow to tie up my cleaning loose ends, but I forgot that tomorrow is the big college day thingy, so I’ll be on campus all freakin day, and I have a meeting this afternoon, so I need to get shit done this morning before going to teach and then finish up tonight. I can’t believe it!! Finally, the end to a very long and draining year is almost over!! I can’t believe it!!
And since he’s been home, I like call him four or five times a day because now I can talk to him whenever I want to!! Huzzah!! I love that I can pick up my phone, scroll to his name, and call. No designated times. No skype. No worries about cell towers being out due to bombs. I called him twice Tuesday morning. The second time he was like, "what’s wrong?" Me: "Nothing! I’m calling just because I can!!" And he calls before he goes to bed, which is very sweet. But tomorrow, he won’t have to call me before bed because he’ll be here!!!!!
Meanwhile, in academia…
I think the full moon totally affected my students this week. Generally the lit and theory classes are very good. Yesterday, all of us were off. I did a better job in the theory class because they have to be engaged there because none of them get what’s going on yet, or rather they don’t think they do. So they are diligent in paying attention. Plus, I was pretty proud of myself for successfully explaining the difference between structuralism and deconstruction in the context of baking cakes. A concept I explained without a movie or tv reference! However, I did say that structuralism was like Death in Final Destination, and that they should think of Fox Mulder when thinking of deconstruction. Only one of the students even knows who Fox Mulder is, but I am going to remedy that this semester as there are two episodes that I find pertinent to Wharton’s Summer, well one in particular, but it’s an almost hour and a half class, so one episode won’t cut it. Actually, I found structuralism and deconstruction to be much easier to teach than reader response. I really can’t wait for psychoanalysis though. So fun.
The lit class was just blah. I’m going to have to make an announcement on Monday that their attempts to hide rampant texting during class yesterday were not as covert as they think they were because I know they think that just because I didn’t say anything that they are clever. I am loving the book we are teaching. They are not. At least the section from yesterday because it was all about daily life and chores on a man-o-war. It was a real struggle to get them to see why those chapters are important, but they are not interested in that. Plus, I’m not sure if it’s helping or hurting the discussion to point out the parallels to the next text, which they obviously haven’t read yet, in order to help them understand the next text better–that if they have a better frame of reference when reading the Great Sock Novel, they’ll be able to get through it a little bit better. So I keep saying things like "see what the author is attempting to do here? In the Great Sock Novel, you’re going to see this again, but in more detail and with a greater purpose. It’s not bad or loose writing; it’s priming for the next big project." And I know it will make more sense when I get to Great Sock to say, "remember this from previous novel?" but I’m doing it this way now because I know they are terrified of the Great Sock. But yesterday was just a weird day all around.
I have a very ambitious freshman who wants to write a 3-5 page paper on all the whales in the world and all their habitats (I’m guessing he means specific oceans because I’m guessing there are no land whales). I’m like, uh, you might want to consider narrowing that down because while I appreciate your enthusiasm, you’re going to have a hard time with this. This kid’s a total kiss ass, but not in an obnoxious sort of way. He’s part of that group that I think has a little prof crush, so he’s overly enthusiastic–"this is my favorite class!!–yeah, okay, no one’s favorite class is frosh english, but like I told the entire class, I’ll take faked enthusiasm because it’s still enthusiasm, which I think if you pretend day after day to be excited about something, then you end up, whether you like it or not, being excited about it. Of course, we’ll see how much that changes once they get their drafts back with my comments on them. It’s all fun and games until the essays come back.
Which, this semester, I decided that instead of doing conferences, for their first essay, they are submitting their rough drafts twice and then their revision of the final draft counts as a whole other grade. I think this will be oddly, easier on me, since conferences are draining, even though I only have the one comp class, I’m going to see how this works this semester.
On that note, I need to get their draft workshop stuff together–I’m trying something a bit different with that. They’re only getting one piece of the workshop at a time so that way they don’t breeze right through the review in 25 minutes and not do anything with it. We’ll see.