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"...another reason I'm intrigued with the hanged of Salem, especially the women, is that a number of them aroused suspicion in the first place because they were financially independent, or sharp-tongued, or kept to themselves. In other words, they were killed off for the same sort of life I live right now but with longer skirts and fewer cable channels." Sarah Vowell, The partly cloudy patriot.


I'm in hell and it's my own damned fault.

I've been hesitant to post about my head pain because apparently it is all contagious 'n' shit, but I am now going on 4 days. And this morning, it was accompanied not just by nausea, but by serious GI issues. Ugh.

Today was the day for my class' final presentations. I had a ton to do beforehand because I had been putting off doing grading stuff until my migraine was gone, which meant I had to do it all this morning despite the fact that my migraine was still here. Ugh.

This meant I wasn't very thorough and I didn't have time to do some of the things I wanted to do. But the real hell came during the class period.

I like to try to have some presentation component to my courses - but this is challenging when the class is big. I gave my students the option to do their presentations individually or as groups. The tricky thing though is that they did individual papers. So, the idea was for them to choose a topic that they all wanted to focus on, and then to have each person take a specific aspect of it to research for their paper.

Seems like a good idea - but it caused us to have 3 gazillion very general presentations on the same 3 topics. It was painful having to pretend that the 5th presentation on any given topic was as interesting as the first.

It was also problematic because there are a handful of students who do not attend class, and who then put things in their presentations that we had discussed in depth in class.

Even worse is the group that basically took my powerpoint lectures and used them to create their presentation. They plagiarized ME! Did they think I wouldn't notice? Or care?

I was exhausted by the end. The presentations were fairly uninspired and so general as to be recapitulations of the text and my lectures. And my TAs and I were wiped out, grouchy, and in pain after having to listen to all of them (they were poster presentations - as it is impossible to do actual presentations in a class this large - believe me, I've tried).

It's really hard trying to come up with interesting and interactive projects for large classes when there are no discussion sections.


At 7:34 PM, Blogger k8 said...

The plagiarizing group reminds me of one of my former students. After repeated warnings about plagiarism, she chose to plagiarize our textbook in several of her writing journals. I wondered if she realized that I had read the book I assigned.

At 3:09 AM, Blogger Breena Ronan said...

Ok, I know we aren't suppose to be giving you advice, but your continuing head pain concerns me. I'm familiar with migraines from personal experience and that sounds horrible. I hope you feel better soon.

At 10:49 AM, Blogger Clio Bluestocking said...

I'm with Breena Ronan. I get migraines, too, and when they get as bad as what you are describing, I get worried.

I wish I had advice to assault you with, but I don't since I haven't found anything that works either (except the whole, drug myself so much that I don't have to be present for the pain -- which isn't really good). You have my complete empathy.

Have you read "All in My Head" by Paula Kammen?

At 9:43 PM, Blogger k8 said...

Oh - I've been getting migraines since I was 13. They are horrible and completely debilitating. I just started getting very serious relief from them through accupuncture. It actually helps prevent them and when I do get them, they don't last as long any more. Have you tried it?


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