Thursday, August 16, 2007


I'm trapped at the office all day today and most of tomorrow: too many of my students have been negligent about turning in their data files.

Background: my writing classes, Levels 1 and 2, are putting together magazines. We spent a lot of time going through the creative process, brainstorming themes and topics, assigning people to different tasks, working over drafts, etc. Over the course of the eight-week term, we've also lost some students, which means that some extra burdens have fallen on those who remain. Fairness demands that I not burden the remaining students with too much work, and the only plausible compromise is to stop worrying about the students who have fallen by the wayside-- in other words, to cut them out of the project entirely since they're not responding to text messages, phone calls, and emails about why they're not coming to class. My students have gone through several drafting phases with their articles, and some of them have gone as far as to design the layout for their pages themselves. Other students, however, aren't so computer-savvy, so I've been helping them by doing the Photoshopping for them. They have to tell me what design they want, and they have to send me their text and graphics.

That's where we're stuck. I have the data files for many of my students, but almost half of them (mostly in Level 1) haven't turned their files in to me. Some have been behind in their drafting (we checked these routinely for a homework grade; in-class discussions were supposed to lead to improvements in the successive draft), and as a result they have no files to give me. For some students, the response to this situation has been to stop coming to class. It's immature as hell, but it's pretty common reflex.

Beginning yesterday and moving through today and tomorrow, I'm in the office working on the student files I have, praying that the rest of the files will arrive on time. I then have to go to the local copy house (Copy Zone) Friday afternoon or evening, where they will turn these data files into bona fide magazines. I'm hoping for a cool result and am planning to give away some extra copies to friends and coworkers (and my boss, who's always curious about the projects I do).

If all goes well, the Level Ones will be producing a mag of around 20 or so pages. The 2s will have something closer to 30 pages (not including the cover in both cases).

Meanwhile, here I am-- trapped en la oficina. Ay, mierda.


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