[The Spring 2022 semester was in some ways more “normal” than the last few have been, but in many other ways just as difficult, if not indeed more so. But y’all know me well enough to know that I’m not going to focus on the challenges in this week’s series, but rather on individual discussions in each of my classes that reminded me of why we do what we do!]
No group of students seemed to be struggling more with this challenging semester than the first-year students in my two sections of Writing II, and that’s sure understandable: these were the students whose last two years of high school were so thoroughly disrupted, and whose first year of college have been pretty damn strange as well. FYW classes are extremely individual in the best circumstances, and in these far less great ones much of my work was do what I could to help each student navigate not only my class, but every part of this moment. But we had great discussions along the way as well, and probably my favorite (in both sections) was the day we finished watching Fruitvale Station—I gave us all a chance to decompress (ie, at least in my case, dry our tears) for a few, and then we talked at length about choices and themes, formal elements and content, contexts and effects. A number of students told me later they were so glad to have had the chance to watch this film, and I was just as glad to have shared it with them and (especially) gotten their responses.
Next reflection tomorrow,
PS. What do you think? Spring semester reflections (in all tones) you’d share?