Yes, GhostOfClayton, your entry talking about Human League has put me in a right 80s mood. Actually, to be fair, I was listening to a fair bit of Madness, Clash, and others this afternoon before reading the blog, but still.
So, finals are over! Well, for me they are. I had everything graded by last night, 10pm...record time, I might add. Then again, it was pretty clear that many of my students just didn't do so well on the final paper. I mean, sure, it's an in-class essay, but when I give you a month to practice it, you should get darned good at it. Of course, if everyone did, then they'd all get As, and that's not exactly my thing. So, a good spread of grades overall.
But it got me thinking of how I want to tweak the assignment. My intermediate Spanish students have to pick a movie off of a list (of course, the movies are Spanish-language), and write a specific essay which tests various linguistic elements. It's cumulative in the truest sense of the word, because it's meant to accurately encapsulate their capabilities at that time. Since the course is a 3-semester series, as students progress they do better. And interestingly, the native speakers in the class don't necessarily do better than the language learners; since I have the students type up the essays, they have to use spell-check, although many don't, or they choose incorrectly from the options that Microsoft Word offers up. Either way, good students tend to do well, while mediocre students don't. Poor students often don't show up, or they come to the final exam time with the "duh" look on their face...usually the result of them not watching a movie and following the instructions of the assignment.
So, grades are in...let the games begin!
Winter Break starts with me playing hostess and tour guide. My very good friend Alanna is out here visiting...her first visit to Northern California. The bad news is that tomorrow is the only day of her visit that is scheduled to be a dry day; the entire rest of the trip there are storms blowing in off the Pacific. At least tomorrow we'll get in a fair amount of sight-seeing in San Francisco. Friday we'll get some things in, perhaps, but Saturday is a complete howler of a day; 50 mph gusts and tons of rain are projected. Sounds more like a day to catch a movie locally, stay home and catch up. Then Sunday morning she takes off for her hometown in central Massachusetts.
Anyone else wanna come along?