Thursday, June 24, 2010


I'm in the office, waiting for a student to come talk to me. The student is in academic difficulty, and asked to talk, so here I am, waiting.

I have a couple students in serious academic difficulty. It's hard to know what to do. First, they're really different individuals. Should one be in college? Should one get counseling?

Here's my hope, though. I had an advisee come back after failing out of school. The advisee came by, and we chatted, and we tried to figure out what would help get his/her academics back on track. That meant retaking a few courses, and taking new ones.

That advisee just graduated and is headed upward. S/he was ready when s/he came back, and s/he was a stellar student.

So that's my hope for the student who's coming to see me today.

The thing is, it's hard for me to know, and hard to advise, and harder for the student to hear that time off may actually be really helpful. There's some benefit to taking time, breathing deeply, getting things on a different track.

I hope the student comes soon, or there's not going to be much advising at all.

(Yes, see, I'm not a total jerk. If I have to come to work or to a meeting because an administrator's incompetent, then I want to be paid. If a student needs some advising, and I'll try to make time to see him/her.)

Meanwhile, I should read some Ottoman Empire history.

***edited to add***

Gah. I just realized the student changed the day an email ago, and I didn't read closely enough and thought she was only changing the time. I'm pissed at myself. I've wasted a morning when I could have gone for a ride. And this afternoon, I have to take my car in for its THIRD appointment. (It started with a regular oil change, but then it needed a serpentine belt, so they ordered that and some other thing it needed. And then I took it in and they'd gotten a wrong part somehow. So now once again. This is usually a really good shop, and I like them. But they're remodeling the building, and it seems to be causing difficulties with having parts they'd usually have on hand.) I almost never use the air conditioning (which this is about), but naturally, the last two trips I've taken, I've had another person along, and air would have helped make things more comfortable.)


  1. I think it's really a blessing for some students to be told that sometimes a person's outside life and their school life conflict -- and it's ok to take care of the outside things before returning to school.

    I'll often tell them about my breaks and academic low points, so they can see that it's possible to come back and do well.

  2. i like ItPF's thoughts -- really a very positive way to talk about needing a break. and i like that you, bardiac, are caring about this student.

    as a mom, i'm still working on the "you should talk to your teachers" thing. my daughter's in her 3d year, and overseas! somehow, she thinks that only exceptionally brave people talk to their profs. she did end up talking to her teachers; she did end up getting good advice, and making a couple of good decisions, including dropping one class.