This was not a great day for me at work. That doesn't happen to me very often. This is sort of understandable because I'm physically at work for less than 4 hours at a time and that doesn't really leave a lot of chances for things to go too wrong. (The rest of the time I'm working I'm planning and grading at home or at one of the Starbucks on Central Street where the baristas let me sit there for 6 hours with my grande vanilla soy latte.)
But today was a bad day at work and then got a little worse when I got home.
On a cheerful note, both classes had mostly productive debates on the Odyssey and my students seemed quite proud that we got through this long text. But after class one of my students wanted to talk about how they were struggling in class and I tried to make helpful suggestions.
That last part is the kind of thing that happens almost every day at work. I really like talking with students who are struggling.
But then I got home and the struggling student had sent me a scathing e-mail that said, among many, many other things, "You don't know what you're talking about."
You know what? That may be true. I'm pretty much winging it a lot of the time. I stood with a few moms yesterday and we discussed if we were supposed to check yes or no on some question on the District 65 registration form. (I checked yes. Seemed OK.) I cooked some chicken in the crockpot that had been in the freezer for a long time. Was I supposed to do that? (We didn't eat it but we would have if it would have turned out a little better. The sauce was bland.) Am I supposed to put my daughter's leotard in the dryer? Is the Disney Movie Club a ripoff? Do sprinkles expire? Is that new Yoplait Princess yogurt unhealthy? What the heck should I put in those goody bags?
I don't know what I'm talking about but I am very willing to figure it out eventually. And if I make a few mistakes, I'm fine with that.
But you know what, student? I actually did know what I was taking about today with you and I'm sorry you didn't like it. I'm sorry we didn't go someplace private to talk. I'm sorry you thought it was a good idea to send me a pretty rude e-mail when we have 9 more weeks together. And I'm really sorry that you will probably make that mistake a few more times in life before you figure out that it is not a good idea to insult someone who has the ability to give you a bad grade.
Wait - maybe I do know what I'm talking about sometimes.