When papers are due in a comp class, people often turn up late, rattled, and often are unprepared for the discussion on the next work we are discussing. Today was no different. The students were supposed to have read The Metamorphosis by today. I broke it into two parts, since it is so short, and asked for half yesterday and half today. Only two students had done the reading, so discussion was not possible. So I asked the students to get into their groups and discuss the study questions, going through the book to try to find the answers. The process was somewhat hampered by the fact that the page numbers came from a different edition than the one I was using this semester. Norton critical editions used to publish the book with some very good critical essays, but they are no longer doing that, so I chose a different edition, but didn't have time to change the page numbers on the study questions or sample passage handouts I had made. But some people had used copies of the Norton, so they were able to find the pages and discuss them in groups.
The discussion among the groups turned out to be very valuable, and after a while, we all got back together and talked about what they had found out. On Monday, they should be ready to discuss the book with some more insight than they would have had without this experience.