Why is it so strangely exhausting to talk and be talked to all day long? Sometimes when I get home I just want to lie on my bed in complete silence for a half an hour. Yesterday was not a good teaching day; I've noticed a strange phenomenon--a bad teaching day is always followed by a pretty good teaching day. It's as if the teaching gods want to keep you humble, but don't want you to give up.
Here's a funny story from last week. My seniors are doing a research project (this goes against all that they hold holy). Their final exams are the last week of May, so let's just say resistance to the idea of serious academic work is pretty high. It was third block (the arsenic hour--students are either groggy from lunch or antsy from anticipation). The class has 32 students, and most of them needed my attention right that minute. SD was sitting in the little rolling chair, attached to me like a barnacle. JT was standing next to me, asking questions about Christina Rossetti and "Goblin Market." And JM, a big, 18-year-old teenage boy, was periodically interrupting me to tell me that he needed my help. Now.
Finally, when I tore myself away from the other students to give JM my attention, he said to me, totally straight-faced, "You know, you're very easily distracted."
The title of this post is in the plural, so I'll give you a second story. So, I was explaining to my seniors how 90% of success is showing up (I'm a little shaky on the statistics), and how there was a direct connection between attendance and their grades. They all looked pretty skeptical. Like they were thinking, what do you mean I have to be here to receive instruction? I don't think so.
As I ranted (er, spoke eloquently and extemporaneously on themes of perseverance), I distinctly heard one of the guys in the back corner say "She's losing it."
Two words: summer break.