Once again, I’m a bit amazed to discover that in fact I can teach English. So far, I haven’t had any revision meetings that I’ve regretted. I suppose about half of them remain to go, but usually I start slow and get better, so I’m hopeful.
For the last several semesters, in lieu of individual conferences, I’ve been meeting with small groups of students before they turn in their first full-length academic essays. At those meetings I look over their work, suggesting the kinds of large-scale changes that usually require rewriting. Because these kids have usually treated revision as a chance to fix a word here or there, it just works better to show them the grand jump from sentence editing to large scale re-vision on an actual paper, and in these small groups, I can let the students see that I don’t single anyone’s paper out but make the same, work-intensive suggestions for just about everyone.
Comps reading is going steadily; I picked up some more play-texts and one more theology book at the library Friday, and I’ve been pretty diligent about clearing at least a hundred pages a day on working days and at least three hundred on the days I don’t teach. Some of that goes towards my Religion department class, but not all that much.