Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Okay, that was kinda weird...

seeing my post on someone else's blog. Four comments and everything - of course I ruined that by also commenting.

Things have been strange around here. First there was the out of the blue call from Colorado from people we don't even know wanting to interview Poetroad for a job. They flew out here that weekend, and we've chatted a few times since. Still, there's no resolution to that, and I have been laughing at the idea that I had learned to wait patiently on the Lord.

Next, a new semester began at the online high school. We added a few orientation assignments into the mix, and the result was that each teacher was welcomed into the semester with about three hundred assignments needing to be graded. As you can guess, that caused a few rumblings. I was so immersed in the grading that I hardly noticed any difference from that week and the last few weeks of the previous semester. "Welcome to my world, " I wanted to say to the rest of the staff. "Yes, this is what it is like to actually have to grade papers. Oh, and, shut yer yapper, you big cry babies!" Of course a few of the more negative people on staff want heads to roll for this. Good thing the only weight they can hope to throw around is the extra hundred pounds hanging from their butts and bellies. On the up side, at least they aren't fat heads.

Speaking of mutiny, for a second in class yesterday I thought I might be mobbed and burned at the stake. My little darling freshman college writing students turned in papers that read equivalent to garden compost - although people shouldn't really throw human waste into the compost pile. Wondering how to handle this exactly, I took said papers to the Doctor of English (aka head of the department). He encouraged me to mark a point off for every error in conventions (grammar, punctuation, etc.). So I did just that. The result was that a few of my students earned negative scores. This was for a two-page paper. And most were dumb mistakes, too. I asked for a show of hands, "Who exactly had someone edit your paper for you?" Not one hand went up. Still they protested with drivel such as, "I thought you would just grade on content. I didn't know that we would have to write it good or anything like that." I responded with, "Yeah, well this is an English class. In fact, it's a writing class. What would ever give you the idea that I wouldn't be editing for errors in spelling, grammar and punctuation?"

I made it out of class alive just in time to get some major dental work done at Dr. S&M's. Dr. S&M is a minimalist, and that philosophy works great for Interior Decorating. Dentists, however, should employ every gas and drug invented to minimize patient pain. One would think that a painless trip to the dentist would have a patient running back for more, in fact. But my dentist deals in pain. The patient gets two shots to the gums, and a few minutes for the Novocain to do its thing.

One time the dentist was putting a new crown on the stump where a broken tooth had been, and he didn't even offer me a shot to numb that up first. Instead he said, with new porcelain tooth in one hand and the other rubber gloved hand shoved in my mouth, "Now the nurse told you this is going to hurt a bit, right? The pain will subside in a minute or two, though, and you won't have to be bothered by a numb face for half the day."

It hurt like hell.

I cried - this is a woman who has birthed four babies, two without the help of pain medication. On a positive note, I was glad that I had another real life situation in which to utilize those Lamaze breathing techniques.

Anyway, the dentist trip was a travel through painsville, but at least I had that near-student-mob experience fresh in my mind to help distract me from the agony.

And that's the news from my side of the world where the dentists are tough, the women are buff, and the children hand in papers that score below average.


Gracie said...

Sounds like Dr. S&M and Dr. Baredapainsky went to the same school.

"Pain medication: We don't do that. You do jumping jack." Like THAT is gonna help.

Mimi said...

I try not to spend more time grading an assignment than the student did writing the assignment - at some point, you just reject it and ask for it rewritten.

but, maybe the feedback is where learning will take place in this case. depends if you are *supposed* to be teaching that or not.

you got a writing center to send them to?

I'm thinking my plan to avoid dentists until I'm already bent over from pain is looking like a winner.

Gracie said...

Mimi - that is my plan too...and I can take a LOT of pain.

Mimi said...

btw - good luck to your hubby & his job offer