Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Summer Makes Hearts Softer - Sometimes

  • I recognize that you have a specific learning disorder that must have made my class hell for you. In fact, you told me that your advisor told you to stay out of this major specifically because you would have to take this class. But you wanted this major and come hell or high water, you were going to make it through my class. So, you came to every class, found a tutor outside the department, did all the homework, came to me for tutoring sessions that lasted an hour or two on FRIDAY AFTERNOONS (!!!) and never missed one. You asked questions when you didn't understand something, turned in your homework on time, and never made excuses for anything. You treated me with professional respect, always honored your commitments and even kept me in touch with your advisor in the student center. On the final, you spent 4 hours fighting your way through the questions. You didn't get all the questions right (don't worry, no one else did either), but you got something a lot more important right: you actually care about your education. You're one of a rare breed.

  • I hate how much of my energy and time you sucked out of me. Whenever I brought my best efforts to class, you sapped me with inanities. Whenever I gave you paths to better understanding, you minimized and mocked them. Spending this summer reading and studying on my own has made me realize how much I hate teaching and how much I resent the pinhead students who think they are entitled to grades - not learning.

  • You have been by far the most interested, energetic and thoughtful students I have ever had. You were always prepared, usually sending assignments two or three days before they were due. You were punctual, polite and engaged. You took notes, you wrote down the titles of books and articles I recommended, and then read them. You were a pleasure to teach, and made me constantly want to stretch myself to teach you more.

  • With a full month between me and the classroom, I can't help but say GOOD RIDDANCE to all of you. I get so sucked into your neediness during the semester that I forget that there is a world of grown-ups out here who don't need to have their hands held at every turn of the road. I swear if I could make $35,750 a year doing anything else, I'd do it in a minute. You all suck.

  • See you next year. Third time's the charm, eh?