At my hopelessly inadequate community college yesterday, I was traipsing back from my last (fourth) class of the day with a box full of final projects, and the remnant notes of four 90 minute final exam preps.
It had been about the hardest day of the semester for me, and the worst grading slog was still to come. The final exam prep is something I take seriously, not something designed to make the precious dears feel good about themselves going into the final, but a no-holds-barred barrage of all the stuff I've taught for 15 weeks. I want students to fear the final. I want them to get scared and spend this last weekend reviewing all of the stuff I told them they SHOULD have learned.
As I headed to my office with a briefcase in one hand, and a large box I pushed with my feet along the hallway, I started hearing Frankie Avalon - no, really - music coming from an open classroom door. It got louder as I went, and when I got there and looked in, I saw my colleague, a pleasant and lovely woman of 50, dancing in the middle of her classroom with about 15 students.
The lights were off. Some industrial looking lights with colored plastic paper over the bulbs sat in the corners of the room. The music played out of some kind of boombox. The desks were all pushed to the sides of the room, and two folding tables were filled with Domino's pizza, silver trays of meatballs, crackers, cheese plates, a slow cooker filled with cheese, bowls of cut up vegetables.
Strung above the classroom was a long strip of paper with the words, "Dr. Xxxxxxx's Final Exam / Sock-Hop."
My colleague spotted me and waved me over to the door. She dislodged herself from the dancers and met me at the door in her stocking feet.
"Hi, Olivia," she said. "Come on in and have some food. We're celebrating the end of the semester."
I set my briefcase down, grabbed a toothpick which I speared through two meatballs and said, "Thanks. I've got to do some work."
What am I doing wrong?