Happiness!!

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 Less than 12 hours until The J gets home!!!! Oh.My.God!! I never ever ever thought this day would come, and now it’s almost here, and oh happy day!! You know, my old blog had become so filled with negativity and angst, and even my first ever post was negative, but here, it seems like a happier place, and I can fill it with happy news like The J’s return! The cloud continues to lift. The only problem is that I’m in such a good mood these last couple of days because I’m so excited, I’m almost obnoxious–like I can’t sit still in meetings and giggle at everyone’s jokes and try to make people laugh. I just really hope that this is a sign of good things to come. And to all of you, I pass along these happy, positive vibes. I still feel, after a couple of weeks, like this is a fresh start, a beginning of more positiveness.

Now, if I can just get through this marathon. There is no half option for this race. They ran the half two months ago. It’s all or nothing. I can’t change the fact that like I always do with my training, I start off strong and then crumble under the psychological pressure of the 20 miler. So I’m going to do the best I can do with where I’m at right now, aim to just finish, and then with The J’s help, I’ll make a better go at the marathon in February.

So, some of the fun and games are over for some of the froshes. Yesterday was peer review. I told them that they *must* have two drafts. One they are turning into me and one for the review activity because it’s going to do them no good to turn in their peer reviewed drafts to me when they should be looking over them. My group of boys whom I suspect of having crushes were the ones who didn’t print out two drafts, except one of them. And it’s because they all giggle with each other and don’t pay attention. If you fail to bring a draft, and I consider one draft failing to bring a draft since you need two, there are penalties. I told them to go make copies and that I wouldn’t count them late. But it took them forever and I could tell that the other students, who were waiting on them were getting pissed. So I told them at the end of class that since their classmates were prepared, and they were not, that there should be a penalty. It was a minor one, but enough to make my point. A couple of them were funny though because the ones who did their work were like, "yeah! crack that whip!!"  But I tried to frame it as, look, you all really held us up for not being prepared, your classmates were ready and had to wait on you, so we need to make this fair. I told them I’d cut them a break, but next time, full penalty in effect.

I was successful, for the first time yesterday, in getting them to take the peer review seriously! Our class, as I’ve mentioned, is almost 1.5 hours. The peer review, as I had it divided up, should have taken them a total of 50-60 minutes if they did it correctly and took it seriously. So I told them, that if they took it seriously and did what they should be doing, at the end of the 50-60 minutes they could go. If they breezed through the peer review in 25 minutes, then I was going to rearrange the groups every 25 minutes until the end of class and they would peer review nearly everyone in the class. I have never seen such diligent freshman in a peer review in my whole life! I was very excited about that. And very proud of them. I still think I’m going to schedule myself out of teaching freshman next year because I can, but at least this class, three weeks in, seems to be going much better than this time last semester!

Also, it never ceases to amaze me how fascinated students are by us, like professors are weird mythical creatures about which they have only heard or read but never actually seen in the wild or natural habitat. One student told me yesterday at the end of class: "um, don’t take this the wrong way [uh oh], but you are by far the most interesting teacher I’ve ever had. I mean other student and I talk about how interesting you are all the time!" Me: "well, I am a bit eccentric and do have eclectic tastes, so I guess thank you!" Hmmmmm. Then I was making copies and a former student comes in to say, "hey! I was just talking about you upstairs!" Me: "well, I’ve been hearing a lot of that today." Stu: "Yeah my friends were like ‘we have such an interesting comp teacher!’ and I said, ‘oh I totally had her! I love her!’" Okay, where was this Stu last year when I was being dragged through the mud? Look, I know it’s not a popularity contest, but I need good vibes coming from my students this year floating through the halls. I have a lot of damage control to do I feel, much of which involves me having a positive name for myself in the air around the department. I haven’t slackened my standards any; I just think I’m going about upholding them in a different way. But again, everyone loves me as long as there’s an A on the paper.

Now, since I got home later than I wanted to yesterday and the wine seemed to be more detrimental to my cleaning plans than I anticipated, I must do all of my cleaning this morning so that things look nice for at least a day for The J.

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