I severely underestimated how much joy I would feel while failing many of my students. I thought maybe I would feel a little remorse, maybe a little guilty … nope. None o’ that. In fact, I feel a little giddy. Mwa ha ha….

It’s not that I want them to fail. It’s more that … well … these students have been such little shits all semester that it just warms my heart to know (because it’s up to me) that (at least in my class) these students will get the grade they most richly earned.

I mean, seriously: Daydreaming, sleeping during class, texting, (<—and these are the options I hope to see in class! because usually there’s more) talking in class, having little Chinese conversations (the bastards) while I’m trying to lecture or while their classmates are trying to improve their oral English, playing music on their damn phones, talking on their damn phones—I actually had students make calls right in the middle of class!—blank stares when I ask them to stop, when I ask their opinion, when I ask them if they have any idea what we are talking about in class.

I have yelled, I have asked, I have pleading that they pay attention, act respectfully, shut the hell up, and everything I say gets ignored. I tried to get them not to come to class, so that they can’t be disruptive. That, of course, is disregarded. Ooooooh, but now it’s my turn. Now the teacher gets his say.

I took attendance in all my classes last week. It was the first time the whole semester I did so and it wasn’t because I cared who showed up. Oh no. It was so that I could mark by each name their participation grade. I have one class (admittedly my worst) of fifty-two students … twenty-two are receiving zeros for participation. This minor victory is couched a little because of the terrible way we have to proportion our grades. Participation and such (all the actual work they do during the semester) is only 20% of the final grade, the final oral exam being the remaining 80%.

Oh but my day will come. Because I can guarantee you right now that the students who didn’t participate in my class are the students who will not do well on the final exam.

It’s these little things that keep my world turning ’round….


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