At Week Four's End
Cometh the hour, cometh the man: this week has been the start of something early modern, by which I mean I've been reading sonnets for most of the week. The week began, as I mentioned before, with Malory, whose inclusion on this side of the test I justified by claiming that he was going through a bit of self-fashioning. The self-fashioning theme continued through the sonnets of Wyatt (Tuesday), Spenser (Wednesday) and Shakespeare (Thursday), and the works of Elizabeth (Friday).
On Thursday I got a little fed up with the lack of participation, and decided that since they'd had two days of sonnets, and since it was Shakespeare for chrissakes, they could do group work. I split them into groups of three, and had each group select three sonnets. Those sonnets had to be connected thematically—i.e., they couldn't just pick three sonnets that used red as an symbol. They were to spend the majority of class determining how their selected sonnets fit together, and how they might not fit together. How, I asked, did they support or disturb the dominant theme of the group? It went pretty well, I think: I heard from a few students I'd not heard from before, and instilled some confidence in them that they could produce viable, valid readings.
Today, though, there was none of that: I gave them a lecture on Elizabeth. It was, perhaps, shorter than I might have liked, but that's okay. I figure, I've done them the best I could, and if that didn't fulfill today's time requirement, who cares?
But the hell with all that: you're here for the statistics, aren't you? Actually, you're not here at all, but that doesn't matter. The numbers are:
A: 38% (6)
B: 50 %(8)
C: 6% (1)
D: 6% (1)
F: 0% (0)
Still, no-one's failing, so that's pretty good. I did have one student come up to me today and ask me whether it was all right if she deliberately sabotaged her own grade so that she'd get a C. My response was that it was her right to make the grade she wants to make, but that she should do her best; what I didn't tell her was that she would have to nigh on fail miserably on the remaining classwork to make anything less than a B.
Next week: Colonialism and the Other!