I hope, I only hope, that I am speaking too soon. There is still one chance for my students to redeem themselves this semester.
But oh, God, if I could physically insert the drive to cite sources into their heads, then maybe we'd get somewhere.
Does this happen to you? Do you find yourself becoming obsessed with some one thing, some single obvious thing that 80% of your students simply won't do? Like cite their sources? In a research paper???? I can't think of anything else. It's practically all I read for anymore.
OK. I will stop. I've been raging about this for two weeks now (6 conference days in 10 days, yes indeedy, that'll make you nuts). And tonight I made the mistake of figuring out that I spend about 200 hours a semester (or thereabouts; this was a highly unscientific calculation) working on comp when I teach two sections of it, as I normally do; that's five full work-weeks. And really, I'd be cool with that, if I honestly felt that it resulted in significantly improved writing. But I don't. And I'm frustrated.
Or maybe it does work, and they're all learning, but I just can't see it. Maybe. And maybe they'll continue to develop in the directions I've pointed them long after this semester ends.
The thing is, when I meet with them one-on-one, my frustration fades and I want so badly for them to get it, to succeed, to write kick-ass papers and do really really well. And I hate to hand them Ds and Fs. But love can't make them write any better, no it can't. And neither, apparently, can the textbook, multi-stage assignments, in-class discussion, group work, endless activities, feedback on a neverending series of papers, peer workshops, individual instruction, email reminders, checklists, or anything else I can come up with.
Sigh. Oh well. I'm off tomorrow night for Thanksgiving with the in-laws, and my computer will be staying home. Have a nice week, all.