Two of my students are in the hospital right now. Disasters continue.
A few students are recovering from their disasters.
When I meet with students in office hours, I try to take a bit of time at the end to check in with them, and see how they're doing. By and large, my first year students are both overwhelmed and enjoying college. I think that's about right. A few seem more overwhelmed. A couple seem like they should be more overwhelmed, but don't quite realize it.
My intro to lit students are having a midterm this coming Wednesday, so Friday was our review session. They filled the board with stuff they should know, and a couple of them commented that they didn't realize how much there was they should know. Better they realize that on Friday, with most of a week to study, than realize it on Wednesday during the exam.
I have to write the exam. And then grade them, of course.
I had about 10 hours of conferencing this past week. The thing about conferencing is that you have to stay pretty focused. Or I do. I can't think about what's happening in a different course, or whether I did laundry. I have to think about what's happening in the room, how I can help this particular student with this particular project and with the course in general. It's really tiring.
I talked to one of my colleagues who cancels class and uses that time to meet with his students. So, for the writing course, he cancels five days of class, and each of the 20 students gets to talk to him for about 12 minutes.
I cancelled three hours of class, scheduled 20 minutes for each student, and used huge chunks of time over three days.
I think he may have the better idea, frankly. Maybe I can cancel another day, use some extra hours, and still schedule 20 minute meetings? (I find that 20 minutes is about right. I finish with most students within three minutes either way, and every five students or so I give myself a 20 minute break in case I've run over, and to use the restroom and such. I rarely get more than 15 minutes of that time, and I need it.)
My question for you: how do you handle conferences for, say, a writing course, where students really do need one on one help?
If you're meeting with students in time that you normally use to grade and prep, you need to prep at other times, and grading tends to fall behind. Which is where I am today, and why I should be grading like a demon. And I will.
But in the meantime, I've baked some pumpkins (now cooling) to make pumpkin mush for stuffs (pumpkin bread/muffins, probably). I've got the seeds roasting, having tossed them with olive oil, chili powder, cumin, brown sugar, and salt. I may have over-salted. :(
Yesterday I went on a short hike with friends, and took a bunch of pictures on my newly cleaned camera, only to find this morning that the cleaner took out the card and didn't replace it, so I got NONE of the pictures I'd taken! GRRRR! I'm disappointed about these pictures, but the card is pretty easy to replace, and I'm pretty good about downloading from the camera after each session, so it's not a disaster.
Trust me. The fall colors were AMAZING! The friends were wonderful. And getting outside was superb.