Monday, December 08, 2008

Because I'm in Charge

We're at that point in the semester where, unless your email subject says "My Head Is On Fire!!!!", I'm unlikely to read it, let alone respond.

I've been agonizing over one of my finals, knowing I'd need to create a study guide from scratch, two separate-but-equal exams for the various sections also from scratch, get additional copies over to the testing center for students with learning disabilities,* find a proctor for one of the sections since it would compete with another section at another school that hasn't ended yet, etc.

I was laying in bed, staring at the ceiling at 6 a.m. Sunday, fretting about the whole thing, and wishing the dilemma would just go away. Suddenly it hit me; I could make it go away. I'm in charge. I don't need to give a final unless I want to.

I don't want to. Poof! Problem solved.

I didn't give finals in my writing classes for years. Students were graded on their writing. Then I got a string of business majors who were rather insistent that I repeatedly demonstrate what they were getting for their tuition dollar and how my class would help them make more money when they graduated. I decided that they would respond well to quantifiable evidence of what they were learning, namely in the form of a seven-page midterm and final.

Still, I wish I'd thought of cancelling the final on Friday, the day my students did teacher evaluations. My stats would have gone through the roof.

For Lenore, I've done the list of dots, but haven't had time to post it. Suffice it to say, I've got a shitload of work to do.

Obligatory knitting content: I'm working on the Clapotis. Oh.My.God. I love it. I can't wait to wear it. I've been hiding it in the other room so that I will grade papers instead.
*I don't mind sending extra tests to the testing center for students with learning disabilities, but it requires that I be about a week ahead of where I normally am. On a really busy week, it robs me of my option to write the test shortly before class.

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