Friday, February 04, 2005

Settling down

The deadline to register and pay for this semester's classes is this coming Monday, so the class rosters are beginning to settle down some. I'm still waiting to see three students' names show up on my rosters on the college's website -- students who have been showing up to class, doing the work, gotten the paperwork signed, but haven't made it over to the admissions office yet, I guess. Anyway, including those three, there are 34 enrolled in each of my classes. Uh-oh! I sure hope the average of 40-50% attrition doesn't happen this semester.

The diagnostic essays are always interesting. This time I gave them a short article to read and instructions to write an essay in which they at least address two questions; they could add anything else they wanted that was pertinent. Lots of papers without any introductions; lots of papers in which only one or the other of the questions was addressed, but plenty of other ideas were added; some papers that are pretty well done; few papers that demonstrate any pre-writing (thinking, brainstorming, planning...). Oh, well. That's what this course is for -- to drill it into them that they need to go through those steps in order to write controlled papers, to prepare themselves for further college courses -- and eventually grad school for some of them, I hope.

I'm going to put my house on the market, which means I have to figure out a system for keeping all these stacks of printed papers handy (to take with me when needed for one class or the other) and yet to keep this computer room more than half-way presentable! Now this will be a challenge, for sure! The rest of the house is fine; this room is the only one that gives me fits.

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