I got up extra early today. Things to do and extra time to do it: Watering plants, cleaning out the litter room, laundry, making and drinking coffee, playing a Scrabble move with Shimon, checking blogs, reading newspaper headlines, thinking about stuff ...
Mainly I want to be ready to prepare a quiz for my classes tomorrow. A trick or treat quiz. Exciting day. My how the students hate quizzes and exams! They never know what trick or treat we will pull out of our hats for them. Will it be multiple choice or short essays? Will it be oral, written, take home, with books, without? Will it be easy or difficult? Some even ask me: "What will be in the quiz?" Poor sweet, dear souls. I remember those days of taking quizzes and writing exams. My stomach would ache, palms sweat and then headaches over and under, behind the eyes, on top of the eyebrows, eyes blurring so that suddenly I was unable to understand one word written on the paper.
I wonder why on earth we give these quizzes. After all, there is so much angst and fear that once it is all over, everyone breathes a sigh of relief and forgets all they read. Or do they? Could there be some feeling of achievement that stuff has been learned, lives are changed, minds expanded? Sometimes, that is all students are able to focus on: the quiz ... the exam ... and lose track of everything else.
And so, my challenge today is to work out a trick or, perhaps, a treat for everyone tomorrow, whereby they might collaborate and share what they have learned from reading endless chapters of a sometimes boring (to them) text. Turning the head and stomach aches into breathing space so that minds might expand to discover a tidbit of knowledge that changes ideas or, at the very least, allows people to focus on the topic at hand.
With respect and without offending practitioners of Wicca, I try to be a good old witch.
I'm bringing the chips.
Students will hopefully remember the candy.
Perhaps the crunching, munching and chewing will ease the pain and open the brain.
Happy Halloween, if you choose to celebrate it!