As I expected, after giving out grade reports and the graded first paper set yesterday, two more students dropped the class. One of them was failing. The other one had simply missed too much and was not devoting much work to the class; therefore, he was not seeing grades he found to be acceptable. He no doubt wants to try it again another time, perhaps in the regular semester.
The classroom, one I dislike anyway because it is so overstuffed with furniture that it is hard to make your way from the door to the front of the room, looks like a mouth missing too many teeth. There are big gaps between students, and the students huddle in small and consistent groups. This group never really cohered. It is odd that one can teach the same material several weeks apart to different groups and have entirely different results. I do not like the way this class is going. I do see improvements in their writing, but I often feel as if I am not communicating well with them, for some reason. It's almost impossible to get them to answer questions or to engage in discussion. I guess that's the way it is sometimes.
I suppose I'm glad that this will be a short semester, and I will be on to two other groups and a completely different class. I wouldn't be surprised if some of these guys and the ones from the previous session end up in one of those classes though. Combined into a different group, the chemistry will be different anyhow.