Tuesday, October 08, 2002

I'm sitting at my desk typing up notes on the differences between three-tab shingles and architectural shingles (my god, how did I get this job?), and looking at the cutest little magenta paw prints. They are stamped on a card a friend sent to me, and they make me smile every time I catch a glimpse of them out of the corner of my eye.

If there is one good thing that has come out of the past couple of weeks, it's that I've been given the opportunity to recognize that the people I've decided to include in my life are all pretty nice. I'm very unlikely to actually say how I feel out loud, so none of my friends will ever hear it from me, but I'm really, really grateful for their friendship and support, especially over the past several days.

9:14 PM

Every week for the past five weeks, on either a Tuesday or a Thursday, I have written out a hot-headed rant in my journal about how much I hate my architectural design students. Well, maybe "hate" is the wrong word: "despise" would be a lot closer. I usually end up deleting the entry, it makes me feel better just to type it out, but I'm getting really tired of this whole cycle.

I have reminded them and reminded them that the preliminary floor plans were due today at 1:00 sharp. I have given them *plenty* of time in class to work on the plans. I reminded them multiple times that they needed to turn in the house floor plans, and also their current garage floor plans (in addition to the garage plans I had already handed back so I could look at the notes I wrote the first time around). The due date has been on the syllabus, and I have been diligently informing them that the plans were due *at the begining of class* because last time they tried to give me this sad song about how they didn't know that (which is a lie, because all the classes in our department have the same policy).

At one o'clock, not even my one good student had a floor plan printed. Of the six, only one had the garage plan that I had handed back. Unfortunately, she didn't have any of the rest of the assignment to hand me with it. It sounds like not a big deal, I should go ahead and let them print in class, but printing (plotting) is noisy and time-consuming. And I wanted to lecture on roof layouts, but I knew if I did, they would all just sit there and work on their floor plans (or surf the web) while I talked. So I ended up buckling and letting them print in class. I could have just failed them all, but what good would that have done?

Plus, all of them had forgotten they had a quiz today, and I guess I'm a little evil, but I'm going to enjoy flunking them all but the good student. After I gave them the quiz (one student didn't even finish it, he sat there with the hood of his sweatshirt pulled up around his face until I finally called time, it was like talking to a Jawa, for chrissakes), the good student immediately printed out the 1st, 2nd and garage floor plan. She obviously is sick with something, so I felt a little bad for including her in my disdain, at least she had the work done if not printed. Only one other student turned in a floor plan, and it was barely started. The rest either didn't respond to me at all, or gave me excuses ("I couldn't find my disk," "I know I saved it but it's not here").

So...four out of six people flunk the assignment. What's the point of being in the class if you're just going to blow it off? My one particularly insolent student didn't even bother to pretend he was working in class, he just sat there and talked to his neighbor, then left when I stepped out into the hall to get a drink of water. Why doesn't he just drop? I think his friend would be an okay student, but he needs to show some backbone and quit letting insolence boy drag him down.

It's just so incredibly disappointing. This should be a fun class, they've got an opportunity to design an entire house from the ground up, and learn everything I can teach them about the process. And even if I'm not the best communicator, I have a lot to teach them on this particular topic. But I tell you, I'm sick of trying to do it.

2:44 PM

You are so totally, totally nuts. Totally!

This morning, I was seriously contemplating running a 5K race at 1:00 p.m. (two Sundays from now), and going to play hockey at 2:00. That's just sick.

In other news, in my pursuit of soothing music, I've moved on from Decado Uno to Siempre. I completely cannot figure out the chimney situation on this house, and it's starting to get on my nerves. I might have to start listening to some freaky New Age nothingness music if this gets much more frustrating.

Addendum: Predictably, I was making it a lot harder than it needed to be. I could have slept in instead of fussing over that stupid model!

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