Thursday, June 28, 2007

Semester Ends

Tomorrow is the last day of Summer I.

My students are all sledge-hammering away at their final portfolios. I've mentioned, haven't I, how good these students are? These are the TAA students. Returned to the University after having lost their jobs (forced quit, I think is the actual phrase Whirlpool is using), they are working to get some sort of degree or certificate that will let them earn money for the last ten or twelve years of their working lives -- most of them are fifty or fifty-five or (some of them) sixty years old. Anyway, they are not scholars; but they are working very hard, all of them.

For instance, I encourage students to give me multiple drafts of papers; these students have brought me not just one or two drafts of each paper, but three, four, five drafts of each paper. They fix what I tell them to fix, they go past that and try other things, they read one another's drafts (they have formed study groups, can you imagine? On their own! I didn't require this!) and give one another suggestions -- and, because of all this, their final portfolios have all been coming in early.

This makes me so happy. This is how education ought to work. Well, except for the whole having to get students back in school through economic collapse part, certainly.

I'm still worn out, though. Knowing that Summer II starts next Thursday, July 5, isn't helping.

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