Fifteen Things at Semester’s End

Posted: May 1, 2009 in Uncategorized

1. I will miss the oddness of the 8:30 class, where many of the best students sat in the back and at least one of the students who often fell asleep sat in the front. It made me like all of them all the more, somehow, that they arranged themselves backward.

2. There was someone, I never figured out whom, that filled the room with the smell of freshly brewed coffee and just-baked bread every morning. I will miss that smell.

3. One of my students, a pretty girl trying to slide by on as little work as possible, really didn’t like me at all. She began every class by rolling her eyes at me in that annoyed teenage way. It inoculated me against every other insult the day threw at me.

4. Anika, you will have to start a blog that keeps the rest of us updated on your hair color! Personally, I have been waiting hopefully for black-to-red-to-orange-to-yellow, like the flames on a tricked-out Camaro.

5. What will you all grow up to be? What will you do in the world, and who will you become? I hate that I will never know.

6. Leggings aren’t pants.

7. Why did one of the smartest girls I have had in class to date do so badly? Her papers were clearly turned in without any editing; her work was shockingly sloppy. And yet, each time, she seemed surprised to find I minded and that it hurt her grade. I wish I understood, and so perhaps could be more lenient, but it’s a mystery.

8. Was there a reason–beyond coincidence–that so many of us got papers on light beer ads that looked at the exact same brands (but were not clearly plagerized) during the Genre Analysis unit?

9. No, really, I mean it. Leggings aren’t pants.

10. What has happened to the word “because” and why has it been replaced by the phrases “and so, as a result” and “due to” used incorrectly?

11. So, seriously, did you really think I couldn’t tell who was a wake-and-bake? I am dying to know if you think I am that dumb, or just that old.

12. If you go out and drink until 3:30am, you are probably NOT sober by 8:30am. Don’t schedule one on one conferences and then show up drunk! Particularly if you know you are an obnoxious drunk. Coming in stinking like stale beer and telling me that I have to give you an A or your parents will call my boss doesn’t help your chances at all.

13. If you choose to write about binge drinking, drug abuse, or skipping class to go skiing, you really shouldn’t be so shocked when I doubt you the third time you tell me you have strep throat.

14. Really, I can’t say this enough: LEGGINGS ARE NOT PANTS!

15. This semester, no one failed. No one was even in danger of failing. Thank you all for that. You have no idea what a gift that is to an instructor… we hate nothing as much as we hate having to stop teaching and start parenting. None of you made me do that this semester. I am grateful.


  1. Dody Jane says:

    Sounds like you are enjoying your teaching gig. How wonderful. FYI – I threw all my leggings away – because they aren’t pants.

  2. Sherry says:

    Enjoyed this snapshot of where you’ve been lately. With the exception of leggings, the semester sounds like it was manageable. Would have been nice to video the eyeroll, so that you could play it back before heading into committee meetings.

  3. I am almost jealous, I always wanted a teaching post, though I am no English major. Congratulations at finishing your semester.

  4. You make fun, but I know you enjoyed by the way you make fun.

  5. April says:

    Ummm….. Students do not enjoy writing papers longer than three paragraphs so, as a result, they are padding their papers with longer phrases. This vile practice is due to advice of evil tutors who also tell the kids they’re helping about the virtues of adverbs and adjectives. Yes, I was that evil tutor umpteen years ago.

    Enjoying the blog!

  6. putt says:

    what is “wake-and-bake”?

  7. sarahemc2 says:

    Putt… students who start smoking marijuana in the early morning are known as “wake and bakes.” I am sure, if you think back to our days in Mallet, you can conjure a concrete example or two. xoxo!

  8. and there I thought ‘wake and bake’ was that room-mate that’s oh so annoying at 5:30 AM… but, you forget about the banging and the early morning light when you get biscuts, gravy and cinnamon rolls for breakfast. I must be innocent and naive.

  9. putt says:

    just didn’t know there was a term for that. 🙂

  10. sarahemc2 says:

    I love you, Putt, but you are INSANELY sheltered!

  11. I like the idea of using the “annoyed teenager look” in #3 as inoculation.

    Something going on with the girl in #7. Sure would like to know what. Any chance ADD related?

    (I didn’t know about “wake & bake” either. Think I’ll try it out on my 16 year old granddaughter at our “end of school” celebration lunch today and see what kind of reading I get. Not to worry: what happens at Grand Dude and Beth’s STAYS at Grand Dude and Beth’s.)

  12. If I were wearing my leggings right now I would be offended. Just kidding. I too think they are not pants.

    Very funny post.

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