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From the Past: 11 September 2014

In fall 2014 I began adjuncting after teaching high school for 17 years. I desperately needed a break. This series will examine my ramblings while I had my students write for a particular amount of time during the first year I taught composition. These will be curated.

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I just realized that I forgot to take attendance. I’m also wearing pink footies, which for some reason make me really happy. One cannot even see them when my shoes are on, but I was tired of my shoes and took them off. I guess they do look like socks, but they’re actually a pantyhose like material. Imagine my surprise when I found myself at Wal-Mart purchasing (instead of my usual nude shade of footies) hot pink, neon green, and bright blue footies. It’s a footwear revolution.

But I feel like it’s 950 degrees Fahrenheit in here. It could be because of these jeans. Someone said that we should know better than to choose to wear jeans in Florida in any season other than winter because wearing jeans in Florida is just asking for uncomfortableness. (Is that a word?) The chaffing, the heat, the fact that they’re tighter than what I usually wear, but these jeans look so good with the slimming pink shirt, so I had to wear them because I’ve wanted to wear my pink shirt forever. Okay, not forever. Only for the last couple weeks, and then I saw it hanging in my closet right next to my black jeans where I’d placed it a couple weeks ago, and well, there’s the story. I had to wear it.

I think I am getting more out of this 750 word assignment than my students are. I’ve learned about the student devotions, different campus activities, their strange obsessions with food, and some other really personal stuff. I have found myself making much better comments on student work than when I taught high school. I still teach 4 high school girls [at a local charter school; the girls were enrolled in a dual enrollment course], but they’re taking college composition. I am so anxious to grade their description essays which they turned in yesterday, but I really do need to grade the other 40 essays I have from my [second college I adjuncted at]’s students. That might not happen since grades are due tomorrow at 5 p.m.

I think that I will try to drive D- really crazy right now. It worked. [I do not know what I did, but this class was open to new ideas and liked to have fun in a responsible manner. Was this the day I tried to ride one of the tiny plastic skateboards that were in fashion at the time?]

Needless to say, I am learning a lot, and it’s only been four weeks. My students are right. I should spell out my numbers and not use contractions. It will get me to my 750 goal much faster. In fact, in the English profession, according to MLA, we are to write in words numbers under 100. One hundred and above must be written in words, except when the number starts a sentence. That’s when all numbers are written in words.

Tonight, with Comp 2, I get to talk about the argumentative paper. This is when things might become confusing because my two Comp 1 classes (one at 1:20 and the other at 6:00) will be on the narrative, which we will get to after the first controversial issue paper. My 1005 classes at [first college I adjuncted at] will also be on the narrative essay, but at that school I am dealing with the intersection of language and technology, and just about everything they write has to deal with that topic. I gave them leeway on the first essay, which I haven’t graded. I love teaching; I don’t particularly care for the grading. I have, however, really enjoyed my [second college I adjuncted at] students’ 750 words. It is fun not making them follow particular rules for their writing, though I hope it doesn’t backfire on me when they have to follow all grammar rules when we get to their actual essays, which are due Tuesday!

I think S- is laughing at me. I just checked how many words I am at, and it is only 500 and something. I must have looked really disappointed. If anyone should be able to knock out this assignment it should be me, and if I want to be a writer, then I MUST WRITE. What was it that Whoopi Goldberg’s character said in Sister Act? Something along the lines that if we want something then it is something we pursue every day. It is our purpose.

I do know that God called me to be a teacher. Perhaps I should give up the idea of being a writer myself. I know that I am where he wants me to be (Dear Lord, please make it cooler in here.), and that I am doing what he wants me to be doing. Perhaps my being a writer isn’t in the cards (or the pages).

What was it someone in this class called the paper on the screen? Was it virtual paper? I can’t remember, and I really liked how it was phrased.

767 Praise Jesus! Unfortunately, I think I’m going to have to do another one for Comp 1 in an hour.

For the next class, I will discuss the importance of reading the syllabus.

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I have had a couple emails and a few questions about when assignments are due. Do you know what my response is? READ THE SYLLABUS. Why would I spend hours writing a syllabus, thinking about what the students need to know and how well they need to know it and how much time it should take for them to learn it and then figuring out how to ensure that there is enough time for them to learn it and then making a COPY and GIVING EACH AND EVERY STUDENT A COPY if I wanted to hear, “When is this essay due?” and “What are we doing today?” I spent a good portion of my summer (unpaid time) figuring all of this out, and then I get those questions.


And this is why I have Jesus: to keep me from yelling at them. Instead, I’ve chosen the passive-aggressive route of writing about it on the board. Yes, I’m talking to YOU. Get your assignments done on time. Don’t be late to class.

That reminds me. As I was on my way to my Comp 2 class, I saw a student. We had about 15 minutes before class. He said that he was going to take a day. Take a day for what I wondered. He said he was taking a day. I don’t get to “take a day.” College is work. Work is hard. If we miss, we miss the hard work, and I covered some very important information regarding their argumentative essays. YOU DON’T GET TO TAKE A DAY.

My husband is leaving tomorrow after work. Not leaving me for those who are reading this as I type it. He and his mom are going to Savannah to visit his ailing Uncle Clifford. Clifford is slowly going…what’s the word, not insane….what is it called with old people? He’s going demented. He fell and had hip surgery, and he’s just not recovering well, so [husband] and [mother-in-law] are driving up tomorrow, staying less than an hour away, [Oxford comma needed] AND driving back on Saturday. She won’t miss church on Sunday. [Husband] said it’s probably because she has about five elderly women whom she drives to church, and she also teaches a Sunday School class. Seriously, though, [husband] will end up doing all of the driving because he’s the man and takes care of his mom. And I really miss [husband] because I teach all Tuesday and Thursday afternoon and night, so I get home on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and it’s all hi-honey-let’s-watch-a-show and then we go to bed because he’s got to get up at 6 a.m., but I’m all wired because I’d just spent the last 7 hours “high on class.”

And then the dogs are coming over. My mother’s pomeranians. My parents forget and call Tinker and Spud by my name and my brother’s name. It’s really sad. They used to call our spaniel by my name. I should be used to it. My best childhood friend’s Mom-Mom used to call me by her own daughter’s and granddaughter’s names. Guess people just can’t keep me straight from a dog.

Because my mother’s dogs are spending ten days at my house and because I have three cats, I will not be getting much sleep. I feel really bad for my husband because he’s going to have to pitch in since I work late Tuesdays and Thursdays. The dogs do, in general, listen well, but my cats were not raised with dogs, and the dogs were raised with cats and want to play with my cats. My cats still have their claws! They cornered my female cat once when they were staying with us. Charley didn’t know what to do. The dogs were just a-waggin’ their tails like they’d made a new best friend. I thought she was going to attack them, but she didn’t. I was able to get there in time to get her away from them. It makes for an odd ten days.

Especially, since I won’t get to sleep in my nice comfy new bed. It wasn’t bad sleeping on the coach with the two dogs and three cats when our bed was uncomfortable, but now we have this nice comfy bed, and to be honest, I’m not happy about possibly having to relegate myself to the couch. Mom, however, is paying me $x for the ten days, and since I’m not working full time and that is about half of what I get for a month’s worth of teaching one class, I’m not going to complain. At least, I’ll try not to complain.

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