Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Get Your Final Exam Party Planning In Gear. Another Requested Flashback. 5 Years Ago.

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 rest from "Out of Touch Olivia."


  1. Had a jackass next to me throwing a real wingding of a final exam party yesterday. LOUD music. The smell of cheap pizza. Several loud explosions of sounds as someone spilled Fanta orange drink on the tables.

    My students, God bless them, looked at me like I was an ogre.

  2. In my own experience, insecure proffies run these parties because they need to be liked. I find it horribly sad. You may do it for your own reasons, but this is what I've seen.

  3. I don't object to end-of-semester parties in principle (as long as all other activities of the class have wound up), but by the end of the semester, just getting myself to class, in at least semi-clean clothes with no missing fasteners that are truly crucial, having showered sometime in the last 48 hours, is about all I can manage. There's no way I'm going to plan/shop/cook for a party, or organize anybody else's doing so.

    Of course I do spend at least 45 minutes one-on-one with each student in the last 3-4 weeks of classes, providing individualized feedback on the draft of a project that is worth 50% of the final grade.

    If I'm going to do that or a party, I think I'll stick with the paper conferences.

    1. I see somebody on the old post suggested that my speculation that the party fell on evaluation day was "sour." It's hard to recover the feelings of 2011, but not necessarily. As far as I'm concerned, student evaluations are such a broken system that I don't really blame people, especially people whose jobs genuinely depend on the #$%! things, trying to manipulate them in any way possible. And at least for women, I strongly suspect that bringing food, or pretty much anything else that makes one seem nice/motherly/otherwise gender-conforming, helps.

      I'm also pretty sure that holding one-on-one conferences during the last month of school helps, but that's not why I hold them.

    2. I've found that come evaluation day, simply decreasing the rate of beatings has a wonderful effect on morale.

  4. Thanks to the RGM for this timely reminder. I've been devoting probably too much thought with whether to bring food to the final meeting of my yearlong class. On one hand, what's the harm? and I do like to bake. On the other hand, as Cassandra so wisely points out, the gender-normative, mom-ish, and (as the comments on the original post suggest) needing to be liked aspects are present and weird. I'm going with not.