Saturday, March 10, 2012
I tried to explain that the spring break due date was a way of giving my students more time—that they had been free to turn their pieces in earlier, if that's what they'd preferred, that we had been working toward this memoir all semester long, that more time outside the press of other school projects could be considered kind and beneficial. Still, my son perpetuated his incredulous (but still quite handsome) stare. "Friday night," he repeated. "Midnight. Had you considered, say, Wednesday instead? Or Friday around dinner time?"
Were I a real professor and not someone who teaches one course one semester each year, I might be attuned to all the nuances of academic life. But I am, alas, merely and only me—this reader/writer/memoir evangelist who wants to give her students everything she's got...and who wants them to discover and apply every ounce of their own who-ness to the page. I've got a kid who thinks I'm a little crazy. I've got students who—by and large—don't resist. And I have, this Saturday morning, some truly extraordinary work by young people who have put their hearts and very brilliant minds on the page.
At the end of a week of great exhaustion and sickness, my son is home cracking his sunny smile, and my students are here, with their words.