Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Who am I, and what am I doing?

It's a good thing that the semester is finished, because my brain is finished too.

My university sets a different class schedule for finals week than for the other weeks of the semester. Each class meets just once, for two and one half hours. The times are calculated to avoid scheduling conflicts.

At 10:30 yesterday morning I walked from my office into the mêlée of students in the corridor. Some of my own students were standing along the walls outside a locked classroom: there were Tom, Gino, Megan, Cheryl . . .

"Hi," I said,"Do you need me to open that door for you? Do you have a final exam in there?"

I was getting blank looks, looks that asked, "Is he messing with us?" One of the students reminded me, with polite exasperation, that our class had a final, right then and there.


That is a small class, and their "final exam" consisted of presenting Web-based writing projects, so all I had to do was step into another room and grab a portable LCD projector.

Back in January, before I came down with the flu and evidently lost brain cells, I had written and distributed my syllabus and class calendar. Earlier this month, I realized that I had listed an incorrect date for the final exam, so I announced the correct date in class and sent all the students an e-mail too. But I forgot to correct my own appointment book.


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