Saturday, February 11, 2012

RYS Flashback: 2 Years Ago.

Donzo Dale from Denver Kills It.

I'm so done with this career. Donzo.

Each semester of the past 5 or so has brought more and more depression. The classes. The stupid students. Lazy. I know this page gets off on the lively and spicy reports from the field, but I don't think I can summon the energy.

My students don't want to be there. Does anyone else see that? Why am I beating my head against the wall for them? Every day there's a new tragedy that keeps students from class, from doing their work, from taking part. "I had a stutter when I was in 5th grade." "My boyfriend has a split toe." "My mother can't find a babysitter for MY BABY." "I didn't know we had class today because it was snowing everywhere." "Do we have to?" "Do we have to staple them?" "Do we have to stay all class today?" "Do we have to type these?"

And I get these long emails from students who won't talk in class. "What did you say at the end of class. I wasn't listening." "I know you said the projects were due on Monday, but can I do mine on Wednesday instead?" "I'm having a hard time with my History class. Do you know someone over there who can talk to my professor?" "I'm having a hard time concentrating on my homework because I have undiagnosed ADHD."

And my boss brings in last semester's evaluations and closes the door. "Two students said you were very unfair in your grading? Do you think that's right? Don't you explain how grades are given? Maybe you better add that to your syllabus. Do we even have your newest syllabus? What is this comment here about, about how you told one student her idea was wrong? Do you remember that day? Could there maybe be a better way of helping that student? They really are the whole reason we're here, you know?"

Uh, yeah? Is that right? Jesus.

I smoke more than I used to. I drink more. I sit in front of American Idol and just stare at the flashing images instead of prepping class, because I get a knot in my stomach otherwise. Oh, and the bacon I eat. Just big plates of it. Bacon and toast. It tastes good. It never disappoints.

I walk the dog at midnight because I can't sleep. I stand under the stars and just wish that a fire would break out on campus and burn down my office and my classrooms. I want to get a disease so I can quit my job and go buy a boat in the Florida panhandle and just sail out into the Gulf. I want this one fucking student named Alicia to quit sending me her Twilight fan fiction because I made a joke one day in class that they should stop reading that stuff and read the textbook more.

I spent half my life in school. I devoted time and energy and passed up countless other opportunities of love and business and money and location so that I could teach what I loved. And now I just want out. But these past years have beaten me down so badly.

What have I done? What am I doing?


  1. So Dale, are you still teaching? You are not alone in thinking what you've written here.

  2. Dale was smart enough to have a dog. Your dog loves you. As long as you've got a dog (or a horse), then you are loved. Forget about the students. Forget about your colleagues.

  3. Right after my semester from hell where at least 1/3 of the class was disrespectful, rude, and hateful, guess who asked me for a letter of recommendation???? The rudest of the rude. Yes, sweetness, I will write you a letter of recommendation!

  4. Is it Deadtime for Donzo's teaching career?

    I'd love to hear from Dale, and the RYS Muslim woman in Philadelphia, and even the people who hated my guts a year ago.

  5. I, too, wonder where previous posters are now, and would be happy to see more follow-ups from them.

    As for Strel: the brief time that CM appeared to be under his moderation, well, that still makes me laugh out loud.

    Strel, I wish you'd post as well as comment!

  6. This was one of the first rys posts I read. I can't believe it has been 2 years.

    On that note, I got an email demanding a letter of rec from a student who graduated 2 years ago. There was not one question mark in the email. Should I be surprised that she has no friendly peers to give her a letter this far out from school?

  7. I just read part of this to my significant other and was asked if I wrote it...I have a cat, though.


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