Be Gentle with Each Other

I just sent my lit. students a last set of instructions for finals week, which starts tomorrow. Usually, I have their final papers due on Monday of finals week, but this semester, I’ve told them I just need them by midnight on Friday. That should give me enough time to grade before the deadline (even if a few get theirs in late), and things are so hard right now, I just wanted to give them as much time as I can.

I hope all teachers are being generous with deadlines right now; the cumulative stress of the pandemic is certainly hitting me now (had a SUPER-hard time making myself write and send a 5-minute e-mail to them just now; ended up spending four hours playing video games before I could get myself to do it), and I’m sure it’s hitting the students too.

Some of my students have confided that their teachers this semester have assigned much more work than normal, maybe in an effort to overcompensate for being virtual? My students have found that overwhelming, and one of my best students told me that he just couldn’t figure out WHEN he was supposed to get all of it done.

As for me, it’s hard to keep track of things (despite having ALL the to-do lists), it’s hard to motivate to do things I know I should (e-mail is particularly difficult, somehow), and a lot of the tricks I normally use to keep my ADD self organized and motivated rely on going places and seeing other people in person.

Just — be gentle with each other, the next few months, please. Vaccines are coming, it’s going to get better. We just need to get through this next bit as best we can.

My creative writing class is basically done, so to finish it off, I invited them to come play an online game with me and my kids (Among Us). Totally optional, and not all of them came, but the ones who did, we played for an hour on Saturday, after our last co-writing session, and had a lot of fun. Kavi plays the game constantly, so she gave me and Anand advice when we got confused. It was a good way to end the semester.

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