In writing classes, I spend a lot of time talking about and having students practice a couple pre-writing strategies. We do these in class, because I think they're important and I'm pretty sure that students won't actually spend the time to do them on their own unless they've been convinced by doing them already that they're worth doing.
Today, we discussed strategies for preparing for and writing essay exams. You might think in the context of a writing class where students have discussed and used pre-writing strategies a lot that students would mention something about using pre-writing strategies to help prepare for and write essay exams. You would be wrong, at least based on the limited evidence of my class. I'm feeling the failure.
On one level, of course, I could try to argue that college students have a really difficult time using what they've learned in once class in other contexts. It's really difficult to do, and students tend not to do it easily or well.
But I'm still feeling the failure. So, yes, I tried to convince them that actually using the strategies we've been practicing all semester might be useful.
And I'm really feeling the failure.
Maybe freewriting really isn't useful to most students.
Or maybe they don't take what they learn in one situation and apply it in other situations.
I want to run away and join a circus (where my snow shoveling skills may well apply in other situations).