I should be in Texas right now, sitting down to dinner with my folks. I'll say one thing about all the years that Randy and I have left for Texas the moment the semester was over: I could grade in the car while he drove, and then enter grades as soon as we hit the Internet. Many the year I entered grades on my iPhone. I really did not want to do that for a change, and thought I would manage to get them all done by yesterday so I could depart early this morning.
Picture: Orchid from a former student; brought it home to nurture over the break.
Now, here's the deal in Mississippi: If you are even a somewhat regular reader: you already know what I think about the reading comprehension ability of many of the students who live here. I don't blame them. After all, if you got all the way through high school and admitted to a university, and are a senior (that's when I get them) and somehow you have made it that far, you might think you have the necessary skills. But, and here's the rub, when I ask a question like "What knowledge from non-social work classes do you need to know to ______?" and students start talking about anything but the other classes they have taken outside of social work, I have to wonder. Non-social work classes answers: history, to understand in what era they lived and how that might have affected development and world-view; political science, to understand if they were able to vote, or what it took to become franchised; English, to understand their literacy, language skills, etc.; Philosophy, Sociology, etc. Unrelated to the question answers: hearing impairments, cultural background, medication, etc.
Picture: Debra's orchid from a student; brought it home to attempt to revive it.
I really want students to succeed. I send countless emails, respond to emails 24/7, write notes on their papers, ask them to come meet me with. I can count on the fingers of one hand how many students out of all 3 classes I taught this semester did so. I confess to struggling with the idea that a student wants to "pass" more than she or he wants to "learn." I will work all day long to help a student grasp a concept when she or he really wants to understand. I have had those students this semester who did that: who were in my office and discussing issues with me in the attempt to figure out a concept. I am going out on a limb here and saying I would rather have that person be helping me someday if I am in a hospital or a nursing home than the one who struggled academically but never once bothered to come talk to me and attempt to understand.
Picture: Sometimes, it's good to be someone else.
And the iPad? Honestly, I thought it would take better pictures. I wanted something that would let me access the Internet when I did not have Internet, yet with a bigger screen than my iPhone. For someone who is so easily amused, sometimes, I am so easily disappointed.