Today’s the Day I Ran Out of Give-a-Effs

It’s been a long time coming, but today officially marks the day I ran out of give-a-fucks.  I’m not really sure what this means for me personally and professionally in the coming weeks.  Let’s hope it doesn’t mean murder.

Incident #1

I spent my fourth to last give-a-fuck this morning as I was grading student projects.  I am usually quite fond of the kids who defy the norm and admit to not liking a novel we’ve read or question the truth in something we’ve learned.  I like these kids and their responses because it shows they’ve learned something from me: to critically think about everything and to not blindly accept what “they” say.

I am NOT, however, fond of kids who feel the need to come out with how useless they think the material is and the class is and I am in general without any sound evidence to back it up.  Not. A. Fan.  You see, this is neither evident of critical thought nor intelligently rebellious.  It’s just plain rude, especially given the number of personal hours I spend designing curriculum and providing feedback on student work.

Thoreau would NOT be proud.

In the preface to his project, one of my students did just this: plainly stated how insignificant he found his class experience.  I don’t know if he was trying to be impressive or ballsy or different or what, but the only thing he accomplished was to sour my perception of him as a kind and thoughtful person.

Perhaps it’s simply that he had just run out of give-a-fucks, too.

Incident #2

I spent my third to last give-a-fuck this afternoon as students were watching a film.  Instead of paying attention to the dialogue, they chose to chat amongst themselves, shooting panicky questions at one another about what was happening, the result of which was a restaurant-like buzz over which nobody could actually hear enough to discern what hell was going on.

May not seem like a big deal, but after 9 months of this same crap, you’d think they’d have learned: the key to figuring out what the hell is going on is to actually pay attention to what the hell is going on.

Makes me wonder how anybody can ever follow a TV show or movie on their own.

Incident #3

I spent my second to last give-a-fuck as I stood before my class instead of at my son’s preschool graduation, carefully reviewing what everybody needed to do for tomorrow’s assignment while half the students chose to chat instead of pay attention.

So I gave up time with my own child to do what, exactly?  And people wonder where teacher burnout comes from.

Incident #4

I spent my final give-a-fuck when I had to confiscate items I had just explicitly asked people to make sure they put away, after which several students just decided to go to sleep instead of pay attention to the day’s work.

And I thought, “Yeah.  Those politicians are right.  My ability to pay my mortgage should totally depend on students’ standardized test scores.  Because I have the power to wipe away their free will and/or physically force them to sit up and give their own set of fucks about what those politicians say we should be learning.”

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Is it summer yet?