After hearing some of my colleagues complain about poor annotated bibliographies, I decided I would make one of our class meetings a conference day in order to see how my class was fairing. I set up times to meet everyone on Friday, Monday, and Tuesday, but then I realized that I had a graduate student meeting on Friday…

Then I realized that I had a DMV appointment on Monday…

I ended up sending out a mass e-mailing letting my students know that I was not going to be able to meet with them, but I told them that they could, if they wanted, e-mail me rough drafts and that we would do conferences through e-mail. I received a handful of rough drafts and another handful of students came to my office hours, and it seems there has been a bit of confusion.

I would like to think, after reading the last student who walked out of here with an amazing rough drafts, that the problem does not lay with me but with my student’s slackness and resistance to read something more than once. The summaries have highlighted how little the students comprehend, but this is a writing class, so I am trying, as best I can, to not worry so much about the reading comprehension (HOW COULD I NOT WORRY?) and instead focus on the writing, which isn’t stellar.

I am constantly in awe of teachers that seem to have it all together. I never feel like I have anything together. And after spending an entire class going over summary and paraphrase, these summaries have been awful. I just don’t know what it is (how it is) i am supposed to teach. I think maybe I should be more animated, but there has got to be a way for me to teach, in my own morose, sarcastic, dark humor style, and still reach students.

I struggle to find my teaching persona….

What really worries me is how awful the essays are going to be of the students who didn’t bother contacting me about the rough drafts. I think I am going to have to get meaner before I can become nicer. I’ll see how it goes.

On Thursday we start the expository essay, which will be turned in on Tuesday, and then we are starting a new project (historiography of ads) on Tuesday. I think I am going to start each class and end each class with 5 to 15 minutes of writing from now on. This will be my mini reading quiz and a way to get the students to think about the essays they are about to write. I got to come up with some relevant writing prompts.