Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Fear and Loafing

There was a moderately big assignment due yesterday (Monday) in my senior seminar, but on Friday, after several panicked meetings, I emailed the class to give them an extension until this Friday.  And since then, I've had several more meetings, less panicked, but productive nonetheless.

It's like suddenly they realize that what they thought they could do in four or five hours is really much more time-consuming than that.  And now many of them are actually doing it, or trying to.  It's a lit review sort of assignment, though, and the ones who started too late to get books on interlibrary loan are sad right now.

The thing is, they're seniors, mostly, so if they haven't learned to start early on projects by now, they're probably not going to learn it in my class.  If they get decent jobs, they'll either learn it or not.  Meanwhile, senioritis hit a few.

That's not to say all, because I know a couple of the students were really on top of things.

And then there's the one who didn't bother to check his email all weekend and then complained to me that he hadn't gotten the message.  I must admit, I wasn't very sympathetic, but did offer to accept his assignment if he wanted to hand it in.  He didn't.  (This same person had asked on Friday if I'd answer questions by email, and I had.  Ha!)

In another class, we did a review thing yesterday with a small assignment they turned in, and I think it made them (as a whole) realize that they have a lot of studying to be prepared for the midterm.  What amused me is that one of the students came by before class (and thus before she'd seen the assignment) with a review grid prepared to help her study for the midterm.  So she, at least, is really on top of the learning curve.

The review thing we did asked them to basically be able to define some basic terms and be able to think about them with regard to a text, a text that doesn't fit literary conventions at all.  From the way they were working, I got the definite sense that some of them are just figuring out that college classes move fast and require a lot more than just doing the reading.  Better they get that sense now, a week and a half before the midterm, than while taking the midterm!

The good news, on two counts, is that they found the small assignment useful, and seemed to be taking the review thing seriously, and thus fount it useful, too.

I hope they all rock the midterm!

1 comment:

  1. I'm pissed at a couple of my seniors, who have written me panic stricken emails about not being able to find sources on their chosen topics. Excuse me, but if you can't find a scholarly article on Midsummer Night's Dream, you should NOT be an English major. Psh!