Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Mid Semester Sniffles

With a sniff, sniff, I had to bid farewell to spring break Sunday evening. While I mostly got caught up with all the student work for my classes over break, I did take the time to read Divergent and begin Insurgent. I also worked on a new essay, got one outside bike ride in, celebrated Funny Delightful Son's 17th birthday, saw my dad, siblings, and other family for my dad's 80th birthday celebration, and started watching The Following (which just absolutely creeps me out, but it's like a horrible train wreck that I can't tear my gaze from). I even cleaned and organized the front closet. All in all, the week was exactly what I wanted and needed it to be.

And now, here I am in week 9 of a 16 week semester. For the most part, I'm happy with the majority of my students and the work they are producing. I know some of my students don't particularly care for my opinion that to get better at anything--yes, even writing--one must simply practice whatever that anything might be on a regular basis. Like, every single (hahahaha, sorry for the aside, but single actually came out "dingle" the first time I wrote it) day. For most of us, being proficient at writing doesn't just happen. It happens after writing. A lot. And reading. A lot. Some students don't want to have to put in the time it takes to become proficient. They don't care. I try not to let this attitude affect me as I know developing a love for writing isn't on their bucket list. In fact, I'm pretty sure it's on their fuck it list. Which is okay. I most likely will never develop a love for constantly having a cell phone in my hands, texting, checking social networking sites, or looking up how to spell definitely because I continue to misspell it and auto correct keeps putting defiantly instead. Nope. That's definitely not going to happen. I get those students who can't bring themselves to love writing. I really do.

So that leaves me prepping for class, going to class, and trying to be upbeat every class session with the knowledge that I'm going through all of these motions for just a handful of students. Sometimes I just want to sit back, look at all of them, and say, "I'm done with you. Get out. Go do something purposeful. Drop me a postcard to let me know how things are going, but for now, just get out." Maybe this is exactly what I should do, the "this" being me getting out and going to do something purposeful because what I'm doing sure doesn't seem purposeful most of the time.

Okay. Done sniffling. Just 9 weeks left until I can close my office door for two months. Then I can not think about teaching people who don't want to learn. Then I can go do my something purposeful.  


J said...

I know that so many students don't want to learn. But I have seen you change lives by encouraging them and showing them the potential they have. Some of those students didn't stay in school, but they still came away from the experience with you changed. So many others finished school and did well. Remember the kid who was an out-of-work miner who didn't think he could handle school? Did you know that he finished, and with reasonably good grades? You change lives. The kindness and understanding you show, the gentle directness with which you communicate, and your amazing listening skills serve not only as an example to others, but also as a source of healing in people's lives. I love you very much. While I can't and don't want to tell you what you should do, I must say that there is a purpose to what you're doing there. It just seems thankless right now.

JK said...

Thanks, J. I never knew that about the miner. I'm glad to hear he finished. I know there are those students who really do want to achieve what they dream of. I also know there are those students who do want to learn. I keep in mind every day what a mentor said to me long ago: teaching is like religion; you can't save everyone. Love you, too.

J said...

"You can't save everyone." Good thoughts. I do hope something comes through that refreshes you soon. (More than just a summer off.)