Friday, May 2, 2008

teaching character

This is not an allusion and I can see the light. I have had to power up in the most heady kind of way. Nearing the end of the semester, my students have bombarded me with their last minute essays, essays that were due days ago, essays due within hours. The telling part about today’s younger generation is they expect us English tutors to panic with them. And some do act like it’s my responsibility that their papers are due within hours and they are not “fixed.” Some come in without a thesis idea or topics and believe they can whip out a paper within hours. Fortunately, I have a group that prepares well in advance and will bring their essays to me up to the final moments. The most interesting papers this semester have been on Ibsen’s A Doll House. Students have supported Nora to the end. I wanted desperately to read an essay where a student disagrees with her leaving her children and husband. But it just goes to show how Chopin Ibsen and Glaspell characters are timeless. Yes, even Mrs. Wright received accolades for her crime. On another note, Tennessee’s Amanda…! Most students found her character rather annoying and well a little manic. They ranted and gave strong personal opinions about Amanda and I had to remind them to keep it academic. And by the end, I felt terribly bad for Amanda. Students refused to sympathize with her. When I teach my workshop on how to write a research essay, it’s so difficult for me to not go on a tangent and talk about well….characters and literature. I was recently chided for going over my time limit for teaching the class. But when I read essay after essay after essay after essay, I have to find ways to charge up---it’s my duty to read the best and the worst and even the irrelevant. Yesterday, I forgot how to spell 'prosperity'.

Now that summer is just around the corner, I will have every Friday off and will enjoy every second, shopping at garage sales, then selling at the big flea market with my love, and practicing my Spanish. This time is my vacation!

1 comment:

Shawna Yang Ryan said...

i totally hear you. yes, they want us to panic with them. sheesh.
are you on summer break already??