I think I may have blundered into a new definition of misery this week. It is blizzard.
Blizzard (n). The academic white zone when the snowflakes silently flake out during an attempt to engage them in classroom discussion. Accompanied by dull, vapid stares.
This is the scene I had in Remedial Hamster Fur Weaving the other night. Half of the class failed to materialize (several emailed me perfectly understandable reasons—hospital visit, required presence at child’s Back To School night conference), and they were, sadly, the better half, that engage actively in discussion. Not even a cricket chirping to break up the silence. Deafening! I felt blind, groping through the required material.
When I had gone over the material, I filled time with discussing their projects and what they needed to get those done within the next three months, then let them go. Forty five minutes early. I felt frustrated, angry and empty. I questioned my fledgling career path into academe…..and then, as I made my way out toward the parking lot, I saw four other professors also making early escapes, and began to think maybe I wasn’t quite a total failure after all.
I have a grueling in-class assignment workshop planned for next week. They’re going to learn something whether they want to or not!!!!!