First, I have to say it is so cool to actually have readers who are responding back with fantastic comments and feedback (both here and on Faecbook)! Thank you soooooooo much! More than anything else in the world, I would like a dissertation that is thoughtful and useful to the rest of the world!
So an update on the situation from Monday night. I talked with Student A over email and ended up finding a time we could both meet -- last night at 6 PM -- and I think we have most everything resolved. I think she understood why I was angry about her comments and once I read the entire document, I saw the beginning of an interesting idea (just not developed, of course). So we focused our discussion there and she will bring her next draft of it to me on Monday.
And then on to the other "problem": The MWF class is meeting me for conferences this week -- yesterday (Wed) and tomorrow (Fri). I saw most of the class yesterday and was able to have an honest discussion with Student L about her often unprofessional behaviour in our class. She made it clear that she thinks she is smarter than the other members of the class -- and me (that could be true actually!). I guess this situation isn't really "resolved" -- more like "acknowledge." She sees where I am coming from and now I know for sure where she is coming from. After she left, my student worker asked if she could talk with me -- apparently, Student L was pretty rude to her when asked to wait since I was already talking with another student when she arrived. As it turns out, my student worker knew her in high school and said Student L had problems with every teacher at Granite and eventually ended up being homeschooled because many of the teachers who wouldn't work with her. Now this is all "gossip" from my student worker but I could so see this being close to the truth. Though Student L is a brilliant writer, she isn't the nicest person in the world.
Generally, though, the conferences yesterday went well and I think touching base with all the students individually is an effective way of ensuring that there are no other major problems going on below the surface. I still have a few more conferences tomorrow .....
And -- finally success in my developmental writing class that meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I've been having problems with attendance, professionalism, and enthusiasm with this class from day one (complicated by the presence of deaf students -- who are fantastic people -- but I think something about writing is being lost in the translation from English to ASL). Anyway, we had a solid discussion about some drafts brought to class by a couple of stuents and the ensuing discussion was fun! Students were actually talking to each other about focus and support! I think they know the portfolio grading we do here at SWIC is coming soon and maybe that was enought to "light a fire" under the before mentioned butts!