Now has come the time of grading, interviews, and special pleading. Every year I have failing students with the saddest stories of death and tragic loss right before finals, desperate pleas for leniency or reevaluation, and lots of incredible statements of entitlement.
My students this semester have done better at meeting my expectations on their projects. The tighter controls on the topics I allow, and the explicit warnings and examples I gave during my introduction to the large class project kept students away from lazier presentations. My more refined grading system also sped up my evaluations in class and let me focus on seeing more details from each student for more detailed looks at their projects this year. Some students still managed to fail pretty hard by failing to show up a few times, but that’s always true. The students that attempted to do all of their projects, spoke in English, and made an attempt to do something challenging all will pass their projects this year.
Half of the students that got jobs and have that very Korean “exception” from the university for seniors surprised me by getting back I required for them to pass before the stated deadline. Alternative assignments almost never happen successfully, and I’ll be passing all of the students that turned in their materials like I told them. I hate passing students this way, but that’s just the way it is done here.
The interviews begin tomorrow, and it’ll be the last time I see the majority of my students. I have a large group of students that I really enjoy this semester in every class, so it’ll be fun to talk to them one last time as long as they aren’t too nervous. I’ve set aside more time for all of my interviews so they won’t be rushed this session, and I’m going to be asking some of them to participate in a Master’s program pilot study I need to finish as well.
Other than that, it’s just a matter of inputting their final interview grade, weighing one or two more subjective scores based on participation, and then working on the ridiculous paperwork I need to file and fill out for the semester. I’ve also got two other classes meeting a few other times a week that are mostly prepared for, but still keep me busy from day to day. I’m looking forward to the end of the semester, but it feels like it is happening so quickly this semester. Usually when have back to back morning classes and Freshman programs at the same time the semester drags along but not this year.
Anyway, this is when everything starts to count, and all the points and work my students put into their grades begin to add up for some serious results. I hope they can impress me with their work and get the grades they deserve.