today is my last day of class. in fact, i'm already finished class. today was the last day of class. tomorrow, final exams begin. my students have exams tomorrow, and next monday. (i teach two different courses).
i thought the drama was over last week - all students who needed to drop classes did that weeks ago, and those who didn't were well aware of their status. what i didn't expect was crying over nothing. tears. real, live tears from 20 year old boys and girls.
one student comes late to class everyday. every. single. day. he's 20. and blames everything on his parents. "my mom drives me to school and she won't leave earlier." well, friend, than your mom is getting you an F. he missed a signup for final presentations and was irked when i told him there was no time for him to present on the last day. if he wasn't prepared, so be it. fail. i pointed out every single lateness and absence, all of his missed homework and still. he needs a miracle on his final exam to pass.
then, on thursday, half of my class missed. they had already given their final presentations, and the university-issued attendance policy was no longer in place, so why not just bail on their classmates? i told the class that those who missed would lose points, especially because most who were missing had proven themselves irresponsible throughout the semester. after class, a student calls me, "i just don't want you to think that i missed because i'm irresponsible." shut the front door, lady! i dismissed her and hung up, only to get another call the following morning. "i really need to talk to you." fine. after i pointed out all of her instances of irresponsibility she cried and told me she didn't think english class was "so serious" and "ohmygod i don't want anyone to think i'm a baby."
there are so many up-sides to working at this university. but there are many days i want to pull my hair out - i can't handle that 21 year old kids can't make decisions or take responsibility for themselves. my first semester here, i had a final-year student tell me that she needed "to call mami" because she didn't know how to get home from school that day since the chauffer was sick. and another who wanted to miss two weeks of class to take a vacation with her family in the middle of the semester - and not fail her classes, because "my parents are making me do it." i even had a mom call me this semester to tell me her daughter had a cold and couldn't make it to class, and because i was "so strict" (i'm not) she felt like it was necessary to explain to me that i shouldn't mark her absent because she really is "sick."
after my four week vacation (starting now) i'll be refreshed and ready for another round of crazy. but for today, i'm glad to be out of here!