Monday, March 24, 2008

Frazzled Catfish Balls

Tomorrow begins the week of midterm exams. It's quite stressful for my students, but very boring for me. I would far rather actively teach and lead discussions than just sit there and watch people filling in little bubbles, erasing frantically, and occasionally bursting into tears.

I want to tell them not to worry so much. It's just a piece of paper. No piece of paper will ever be as important as YOU are. Relax. Breathe deeply. Stand up and stretch when you feel the need. Go get a coke out of the machine, and maybe a Snickers bar, too. Chocolate won't hurt your scan-tron sheet; it's graded by a machine, and a little sugar might be just the energy boost you need. Get up and walk around the parking lot for a few minutes; clear your head. Look at the trees behind the college. Watch the squirrels. When you come back inside, take a few deep breaths, pick up your #2 pencil and begin again. Read carefully; you KNOW these things. I know you do. I've heard you talk about these topics for half a semester and you KNOW them. Don't let your fear of the test itself overcome the knowledge in your head. Don't let a piece of paper take you down. USE the piece of paper to prove your knowledge of these things. Let the piece of paper encourage you to express what you know. You are the boss of this piece of paper. This piece of paper cannot defeat you.

Actually, I did tell my students those things, last week. I hope it registered with them. Students occasionally fall apart because of the dread of a big test. The test itself is never as awful as the dread of it beforehand.

In other news, my kids have gone back to their respective homes, there are little wads of multi-colored chocolate-scented foil all over my carpet, and I have a feeling that I'll be sifting Easter grass out of the litter box all this week.

Also, my house smells like frazzled catfish balls.

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 12:27 AM | |


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