Yesterday was just a barrage of bullshit from students, and it didn't end after I posted those brief anecdotes either: Later in the evening, I found a student's essay that was plagiarized, and when I spoke with him about it before class, it was a dizzying conversation that went something like so:
Jess: Student, I'm concerned because it appears that your essay is entirely the work of copied and pasted material from online resources, and I don't see anything here that is your own writing.
Student Rebuttal: It is too mine. I wrote it. I just used sources to help.
Jess: Okay, show me a portion that is your writing.
Student looks at essay and points out the first few sentences, and he says: This is mine; I wrote the introduction.
Keep in mind that I am holding the printed version of everything he copied from online, so I look at what he's pointing at, consult my print out, and respond: No, it's not yours. That's from right here (and I point to the EXACT material that came from online).
The conversation went back and forth like this, and it was literally mind numbing to try and convince him that no, he did NOT write the essay he submitted. In his mind, he seems to have thought that he did.
See, the thing that bugs me the most, and what I take very personally, is that I put a lot of time and effort into my classes to ensure that I teach the material thoroughly, accurately, and in an engaging manner. However, learning something is a two-way street and if they're not putting in the time and effort to pay attention, then I grow very frustrated by their apathy. Granted, most students succeed and are good students (some are even superior students who invest a great deal of time and effort in my classes); but at this point in the term, those that are exasperating me are just really draining the life outta me, and I feel like I only have a thin shred of patience remaining.
But...that's my rant for now. I don't want to continue to bore you guys with details about work, nor do I want you to think I'm rapidly becoming a bitter, cynical teacher; I'm just tired of this semester and am ready for the first week of May.
What I am looking forward to this evening is a run. Tuesdays are always crap because it's such a long day at school and I don't get any time at home, and thus I don't get to run and blow off some of that steam that builds over the course of a day. This evening, however, I plan to take full advantage of the kind of "angry" run that I need!