college blah blah blah

According to Eileen who taught school for years, it is very normal to be burned out at this stage of teaching. I pointed out to her that I only teach twice a week and she taught everyday. But she insists that it’s normal even for me.

After teaching yesterday, I went to my “perch” office and copied down the point totals for each student at this point in the course from the online Blackboard system.

I like to hand in their grades the day of the final. Since my position is very tentative at GVSU I’m not absolutely certain I can use my “perch” office right after the final exam next Wednesday. But now I have enough info that I can figure out each person’s grade and fill out the bubble sheet (!) and hand it in.

I have to have students do student evaluations on Thursday. Interestingly enough I haven’t received the evaluations results from last term yet. It’s starting to feel like I am working for the government. heh. I  used to be interested in what these evals had to say, especially because I was so fascinated that I received so many comments about my appearance (negative ones).

I used it as a sociology experiment and last term I taught every class with my uniform: black suit and tie, long hair in a bun. I wondered if that would bring forth comments from students on their evals. I am still wondering but caring less and less. Fuck school. But not the students.

I begin to trust my own gauge of students more and more after having taught several terms and compared my reactions to them with their written evals.

Also students do sometimes give me indications on their written work what they are finding helpful and/or confusing. Very nice.

On another college/journalism note, I find the recent coverage of the killings at Virginia Tech revealing. It seems that journalists as usual (at least on NPR and the internet) have lost a grasp of their first responsibility to report “who, what, where when and why” and substitute smarmy emotional “I” centered reporter bias stuff. Good grief. It was almost like the NPR reporters were trying to talk the students and teachers they interviewed from Virginia Tech into a response they expected (“Aren’t you going home so you can be with your family and feel safe?” “No. I’m staying here with my friends” then later I heard this same reporter in a different report  say that many were going home so they could be with family and feel safe. I think that reporter should go home to her family and feel safe. Fuck a duck.)

I’m still waiting to find out (maybe this has been reported) if there is a clear connection between the first shooting in the dorm and the later mass killing in classrooms. It seems to me that is a basic important part of the story. But what do I know?

I also note that our society has all kinds of weird stuff around death. sooprise, I know.  We don’t remember that we all die. And we use all sorts of fake shit to insulate ourselves from the reality of a brutal and tragic death.

The cynic in me also noted how Bush jumped all over this one in an attempt to generalize this incident into national tragedy. This may be a national tragedy but leaders should be sources of honest comments at this time especially. Nothing disillusions people (at least this is true for me) more than dishonesty at a time of grief. But Bush has demonstrated he has no idea how to strike the right note in times of crisis over and over again as president. Just my opinion.

I had to temper my cynicism a bit when they delayed the Gonzalez hearings, but maybe that is political as well but just from the Democrats side. Good grief.

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