Thursday, November 18, 2010


I need to eat my breakfast and take vitamins, but I confess I've gotten into a bad situation with one of my students. He has been consistently difficult, hyper, immature, and a trouble-maker. He naturally fancies himself a writer, and has sent me a chapter of an ersatz fairy tale, and asked me to give my opinion, clearly thinking I'd rave, as probably high school teachers did. I didn't, though I told him it was worth taking to a workshop. He didn't know what a workshop was; I explained. I don't think he'll like workshops. I use similar techniques in my comp class, putting up anonymous samples for class discussion, and warned students of this at the start of the semester. No one told me not to use his or her writing, until, after the fact, he did, taking it personally rather than a means of instruction. But he tends to walk out of class in the middle of peer review, not do homework, not listen to comments (or not to understand them). Not surprisingly, he tells me that he didn't bother to sign up for the Writing Center because they didn't help him in earlier classes. I'm sure he was one of those students who couldn't listen to what people were telling him then too. I've made the mistake of persisting, trying to get through to him and actually help him improve, and I deserve what I get. He thinks I'm persecuting him. Should have just let him be.

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