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From the Past: 23 September 2014* Midterms

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.

* * * * *

I am so tired of grading. Why did I ever let myself get behind? It was too easy to enjoy what I thought was suddenly all of this free time that I had. I had already done all the planning, so I thought that grading wouldn’t be that big of a deal. But here I am, drowning in papers. [First college]’s midterm grades are due by 5 p.m. on Friday. I’m almost caught up with my larger class, but I haven’t been looking at [second college]’s or [third college]’s students’ work, though my [third college] students agreed that I should probably get their work graded before my observation on Thursday.

It makes me depressed.

I did so well yesterday. I graded for almost two hours straight, and then I graded between classes. When I got home I even alternated grading with cleaning and playing [farming app]. I got up this morning, not as early as I planned, and still graded.

This does remind me of a question one of my [first college] students asked in his 321**: If the language accepts the fact that we do actually place prepositions at the end of sentences, why can’t it accept that we shouldn’t have to put a comma and a coordinating conjunction or that we can comma splice. I know that the written language is slow to change and that many of the rules of grammar are a result of those seventeenth and eighteenth century grammarians trying to make English into a new classical language. But he has a point. I want to do some research on this.

I also am afraid that I am going to have to make a decision. I love, absolutely love, working at [first college]. I enjoy my [third college] and [second college] students as well. [First college] pays more, and I would love to continue to work there, but I want God to make the decision for me.

Waiting till Friday to find out if I’ll be adjuncting there next semester is killing me. I have two classes guaranteed for [third college] plus two short course online courses. That’s four courses. Add in [second college], and I have five. That now would leave no room for [first college], but I LOVE teaching the intersection of language and technology. Maybe I should offer my services for summer classes at [first college], and maybe I should try to make my composition courses at [second college] some sort of language / technology issues course. The difficulty with [second college] is that not every student has access to a laptop or similar device, and to teach the intersection of language and technology I really need students to have electronic devices.

Last night I had a difficult time sleeping because I had more ideas going through my head. I thought of a class for [first college] called “To Think Deeply.” Maybe I should call it “Not All Who Wander Are Lost.”*** Actually, that would be a good name for a class at [second college]. Maybe I should use my [second college] composition classes as a means to exploring religious issues. But life for me is about more than just religion. I wish I could remember what M* said about the three areas of our lives: orthodoxy (the thought area, which I have down), orthopraxy (putting into practice our beliefs, which I need to work on), and ortho-something (which is the gut feeling that we go on, which I believe he said Pentecostals have down more than other denominations).

My mother’s damn dogs [pomeranians] are coming tonight at 8 p.m. I suppose I can use that waiting time to grade. I think that I’ve also decided that 500 words per brain dump is good enough. While 750 may be okay for someone who is a professional writer, I think that it is too much for those of us who are not professionals, namely my students. I should strive for the 750 words per day since I have aspirations, but I’m also lazy and am no longer sure that I am called to be a writer. I know for sure that I am called to be a teacher. This glut of classes, and the fact that I’ve really been enjoying myself during the last eight weeks, has proven that to me.

My stomach is a bit upset, but I do feel a bit better. Guess they’re right. I mean, I knew they were. This writing helps.

Looking up that other orth- word. If I got it right ( it is orthopathy. I’ve got to email M- about that. It’s been bugging me for over a week now.

*Not clearly dated. Based on organization, the date is on or close to date above.

**3-2-1 is an end of instruction framework for assessing student learning; students write down 3 things they have learned, 2 things they found interesting, and 1 question.

***Pastor M-’s philosophy of life based on Tolkien. The idea is that it is okay to be a Christian and ask questions about faith. The asking does not necessarily mean a lack of faith. Rather, the questioning places one on a journey of faith, of wandering but not of being lost, as in not saved.

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