Ancrene Wiseass

A would-be medievalist holds forth on academia, teaching, gender politics, blogging, pop culture, critters, and whatever else comes her way.

My Photo
Location: United States

Yes, this really is yet another blog by a disillusioned grad student. I sympathize, but that's just the way it has to be. For hints as to what my bizarre alias means, click here and here and, if needed, here and here. To get a sense of what I'm up to, feel free to check out the sections called "Toward a Wiseass Creed" and "Showings: Some Introductory Wiseassery" in my main blog's left-hand sidebar. Please be aware that spamming, harassing, or otherwise obnoxious comments will be deleted and traced.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Heartwarming curtain calls

Okay, so after all that, one of my students told me during a meeting today that all his other English classes had been "a joke;" that I'd forced him to work hard, but that he'd started to see how he needed to improve and how treating writing as a process could "make decent ideas into great ideas." He said he really didn't mind getting lower grades from me than he had ever gotten in a lit class before because my critiques were thoughtful and helpful. He even said that, although he wants to be a doctor, if he'd had more teachers like me, he'd probably have majored in the humanities. Then he gave me a nice big box of chocolates.

Honestly, he almost made me cry, right there in the Generic Campus Dining Facility. And I'm a little teary-eyed all over again, just blogging about it.

Then I had another meeting which I'd expected to be an utter nightmare: the student in question has been giving me a bit of a hard time lately (i.e., sending ill-advised emails in the throes of end-of-term frustrations) and was resisting my feedback on her last paper. But we talked through things and came up with some solutions that made both of us happy, talked about strategies for dealing with her fear of scansion, and discussed the difficulties of punctuation. She said she was grateful that I'd explained punctuation to her; she hadn't understood she had a problem with it before and was starting to pay attention to how punctuation was used in her textbooks in order to improve.


There's nothing like a newly born punctuation-spotter to warm the cockles of my heart.

Okay. So maybe it wasn't quite as bad as it seemed. Maybe some of them really were getting something out of it.

I just wish I could've figured out how to get them to talk about it in class.