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Spring Febrile Seizures

April 10, 2009

In one of my small classes, I have 2 students who consistently do things incorrectly. Not just in small ways but in big ways—for almost every assignment, I have had one or the other or both completely re-do the entire assignment, from format to content to length to discipline. One is prone to doing half of what’s assigned, or two-thirds, as if this student cannot absorb instructions or deadlines past a certain threshold. The other cannot shift from one assignment’s format to the other and seems to misunderstand every term, technique, and format. To this student in particular, I have explained the final project, in and out of class, 5 times. I still get the same questions from this student. The other has lots of ideas and enthusiasm, is an active participant in class but is just not a good student—not much of a reader, not a very good reader or plagued by distraction, bad with deadlines, things lost on a regular basis, organization problems, writing issues, especially missing what’s on the page, or not on the page.This student always thinks the assignment has been submitted but is thinking of the previous assignment, which was submitted but either riddled with errors, in the wrong format, had no student name on it, incomplete, something. Now that I have the first drafts of their 45-page final assignments, it is grating. I can feel my blood pressure rising as I answer an email that yes, you did submit an assignment last week but that was the first part and you have yet to submit the second part. I did leave out, the second part that we talked about in class just yesterday, yesterday, twice.

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