Today is the lull before the final grading storm. I taught my last class of the semester today. A few students were with me for both semesters of their freshman year, and it was a little more bittersweet to say goodbye to them then some of the others.
I hope I reached the bright procrastinator when I encouraged him to figure out a method to break out of the vicious cycle he's been in all semester. Typical, really. Smart kid, never had to work hard, always managed to do well enough to satisfy himself, his teachers, his parents. College, though? Not so easy.
I'm pretty certain I did not reach the plagiarist, with whom I had to meet (per his request) with the department chair. He seemed confused by the fact that he asked for the meeting, and so he was responsible for saying what he wanted to get from it. I think he wanted to apologize in hopes I wouldn't fail him, but in this case, apologies don't matter. Our conversation made it clear that he believes his only mistake was in not putting quotation marks around the two pages lifted directly from websites, or maybe in not putting a parenthetical at the end. I'm happy to file this case away.
Overall, though, it was a delightful semester. I enjoyed my themed class, and many of the students in the class reported that they felt the same way. It just goes to show that one of the keys to good writing is that the writer is interested in the subject. I know that can't always be the case, but I encourage my young writers to figure out what interests them and see how they can weave it into any subject. I remember writing a paper about the geometry of quilting for my math class in college. One of the few math assignments I enjoyed!
So, here I am, another semester under my belt. Nine years of teaching already. It's hard to believe I've been at it that long. I'll be busy grading this week, maybe even over the weekend, but after that, I become my own boss for the summer.
What's in store? I'm eager to get back to my novel and have signed up for a writing conference in August to provide a deadline for this draft. I'm also joining Dave in seeing just how much of my fiber stash I can spin this summer, and I plan to get comfortable with the big ol' loom that takes up about half my office.
There's another project, too, but I'm not quite ready to talk about it publicly. I haven't been so excited about something in ages, and I'm easily excitable! As soon as I can, though, I'll let you know first!
What are you excited about as summer approaches?