Wednesday, August 09, 2006


A colleague and I both sensed a disturbance in the Force in our advanced class. Tensions seem to be building among some of the stronger personalities. Yesterday, one student forgot her textbook and needed to share with someone; the Chinese girl in our class allowed her to lean over, but huffed, "I really wish you'd bring your book," or something along those lines. The bookless student is normally very conscientious, so I think she took that complaint a bit too hard. I tried to make a joke of things by teaching the word "freeloader" and noting that the bookless student was not a freeloader, because this was a one-time-only lapse. I don't think I was too successful.

Today, tensions flared again as the same students had to sit together and teach each other-- an exercise I do on occasion with all my classes (will blog about this later). It wasn't comfortable to hear what was going on, but the cattiness didn't escalate into outright nastiness, so I let things simmer. Tomorrow the class has a quiz, which means they'll be united in their anxiety about grades. I hope the students can establish a tacit détente tomorrow. If they can't, I'm a bit worried about how the semester might end. The last thing our school custodians need is to walk into a classroom whose floor is covered in blood, fingernail fragments, pieces of scalp, and estrogen.


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