Accelerating the end of term by two weeks, I rescheduled the Exit Exam. I was not thrilled with the selection of topics the department provided but, as one student had to leave the country, I made my choice and prepared students in sections of Basic Writing for the exam. I reminded them that while effective writing comes from close reading and closer revision, they would have one hour to read, organize, and revise their responses to the writing prompt supplied. I apologized for the obvious contradiction between theory and practice and posted a reading and prompt in the folder for the coming week. Few appeared to find it attractive. None, to be exact.
Despite resistance to almost every effort on my part, and what to me appeared to be seamless indifference on theirs, every student in the first class to sit the final today acquitted themselves honorably – the majority in under 40 minutes, including revision. Something got through. Something made a difference. Something stuck and, against all odds and previous evidence to the contrary, skills were honed. Thursday’s potluck and ePortfolio presentations will be a genuine celebration after all.