Wednesday, April 30th, 2008 • No Comments on End of Semester Blues
One of the things I love best about being writer (other than the big piles o’ cash—ha!) is that writers love being writers. At least, the writers I know love being writers. We all love what we do, we’re passionate about it, it’s in our blood, it’s a part of our soul. I love that. Sure, we all have complaints and down days and struggles and insecurities (and the occasional drug and/or alcohol problem…), but most writers are only writers because they cannot not be writers. I know that convoluted sentence is a mess, but the truth is there.
The problem I have with being a college adjunct is that students, at least many of the students I have encountered, do not love being students. They do not want to be students, they want to be graduates (that’s the best case scenario—I think some of them have no clue what they want). They want to be finished with the process, but they do not want to endure the process. They want to whine and complain and be spoon fed the answers. They want to do half-assed work and get a B in the class—or even an A! It is exhausting, frustrating and depressing to grade these students’ assignments, struggling to find a way just to pass some of them, knowing that I’m not doing them any favors if I do pass them, but not wanting to fail them, either. It has been a disheartening couple of days.
I suppose the worst part of this experience for me is that I don’t understand. I like school—which is obvious, since I keep going back. I love learning new things, I enjoy writing research papers and doing creative projects. I think I’m enthusiastic in my teaching approach and I don’t understand why that enthusiasm doesn’t rub off. Sure, I have a handful of students who are doing well, a couple who seem to be the kind of student I was/am, but they are the minority and they do not counterbalance the apathy of the others.
The semester is almost over and I will be relieved when it is. I hate feeling this way—I like being passionate about my work. Sure, I’m relieved when I finish a writing project, but I’m almost always anxious to go onto the next thing. With teaching, at least this semester, I’m not anxious for fall. (I decided to take the summer off—I wouldn’t be doing anyone any favors to teach a summer class with my current attitude.) I’m starting to think I’m not cut out to be a teacher—or maybe I’m not cut out to teach what I’m teaching or where I’m teaching. I don’t know. But this feeling—this blah, discouraged, helpless feeling—is one I can live without.
I can only imagine how I will feel when I submit final grades next week. Sigh.