It is the last day of my summer class, and I am terribly relieved. I love teaching, but this class has just been very draggy. I have great students, but the three hour and twenty minute time span is impossible to work with some days, and this is an 8 week class that is supposed to be a 16 week class, so instead of meeting twice a week for an hour and fifty minutes, we meet twice a week for three hours and twenty minutes. That would be fine if I had designed the class for a 16 week span and then cut down, but it does not work the other way around. Next time, I will set it up like a 16 week class and then fix it. My head might not hurt so much that way.
The students are fine…very tolerant, actually. We have a mixed bag: a man from Bhutan, a woman from Haiti, a mother returning to school, several younger students just getting started…pretty good. The woman from Haiti has a thick Creole accent that I have trouble understanding and her voice is right in that range of my hearing which is starting to go…I just can’t understand her sometimes and it makes me feel terrible. I actually like it when she sneaks a French word into her writing because I can understand her! The man from Bhutan has had an amazing life as a refugee and has struggled a lot to get where he is now…very commendable. Of the American students, I have two students who are trying really hard, two who are doing ok, and two who have put very little effort in at all. This bothers me, and that discussion can take place another day.
So I am relieved that this is the last day. I will miss the students, but not the class. I do not feel like I was totally effective, but I did try. My head just has not been in the game this summer. Part of that is the myriad of distractions, and part of that is just a general malaise from last semester’s blow out. Honestly, the end of the last semester was like a war movie on crack. Family deaths, pet deaths, general chaos…the list goes on. I will address all of those at some point, I am sure.
I go in to class today feeling like a war survivor who has battled to the end, and is just exhausted. And maybe that is it. I am battle-scarred. Really tired, and just plain worn out. Done. I have a month to recover. Hopefully, I can make it back to my feet.