My apologies to anyone following this blog -- I know it has been almost a week since my last update. But last week was probably the worst week of my professional life -- lots of student complaints (both formal and informal) and I was starting to feel angry every time a student told me "I can't turn in my essay because X" or "I need to leave class early because X." I simply ran out of patience, I guess. This has been a tough semester in general but I think last week I reached a crisis moment.
The two research classes are going fine -- the Monday night class was a delight last week but the MWF continues to have some problems because of Student L and some overall "bad vibes" in the class. I am pretty sure this is a personality thing and I am pushing myself to find creative, fun ways of engaging with the students and, hopefully, ending the semester on a positive note. Sometimes this happens in one class but this semester there are two classes (the other is a lit course) in which I am stressed trying to connect with all the students. In good news, I have had two fantastic weeks with the developmental course that struggled to turn work in on time. A few students dropped and now the vibes are better; I think these folks really understand that the portfolio assessment is coming up and so much rides on their essays.
I spent today doing lots of physical stuff -- a 5K with Stella (the running dog!) in the rain earlier, cleaning the house from top to bottom, and then 25 miles in a bike. I wish I had gotten more work-work done but I think I needed the break. Bring on Monday! :D