Lessons Learned

A potpourri of the lessons I’ve learned this term:

  1. 1)Thinking of the student workload and letting them hand in all their major assignments on the last day is INSANE, especially when one is teaching three writing courses.  It is also not appreciated by the students, the majority of who complained that they had too much due at the end of term.  Also:  even fourth year students will not hand in their work early if they do not have to – why I actually thought this might happen is beyond me as an academic who handed in 3 conference proposals on the due dates last month.
  2. 2)First year students should never be allowed to chose their topics for research papers.  Ever.  Provide a list of topics and require a detailed outline with purpose statement, which will deter from the torture of reading info-mercials about the history of various rock bands, fighting in the NHL and fashion designers’ lives.
  3. 3)On a similar note, at least 2 drafts of any research paper should be required of first year students.  AT LEAST.  Gah!
  4. 4)One should, whenever possible, read the first year papers BEFORE the fourth year papers.
  5. 5)If I invest in a cleaning service at any time during the year, it should be the first two weeks of December, April and August.
  6. 6)Children should be shipped out to friends and family members during this time.
  7. 7)A grocery service would also be handy.
  8. 8)Christmas decorating needs to henceforth take place in November.  Or we could just stop celebrating it altogether.
  9. 9)I can mark for 12 hours at a time for days on end.  It’s not ideal but it IS possible.
  10. 10) When you think that you are wasting your time giving detailed feedback, there is ALWAYS one student who will read your feedback and thank you for it.
  11. 11)WebCT Vista gradebook sucks rocks.
  12. 12) Academic friends who are also suffering through end-of-term chaos are a blessing.


I’m sure there are more but I have to finish marking … blerg!

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