Now that we’ve had one week of rest and rejuvenation during the College of DuPage Spring Break, it’s back to class to finish the next few months before the semester ends. I purposely do not assign work over the break and invite students to decompress. Today we’re dusting off our laptops after a much needed reprieve. Motivation is a key factor now as we make the push toward the Reading Exit Exam in English 0482, final assignments and drafts in English 0492. My students pepper the Discussion Board with Spring Break stories. They are refreshed and share that they had time to sleep in, go out with their friends and catch up on Netflix.
We’re working on regaining our momentum by starting with a reflection map outlining where we’re at with writing and reading assignments at this point in the semester. Students have found their rhythm, they have a sense of mastery over some materials, but are striving for improvement in particular areas — maybe it’s paragraph unity or submitting assignments on time or increasing the frequency of posts to the Discussion Board.
Post Spring Break can be a readjustment because many students are thinking ahead to summer jobs, planning vacations and securing internships. They are thrown back into the reality of due dates and looming final exams and projects. We’re back on the treadmill for awhile. But despite these deadlines, students and faculty have had the chance to do what the poet Adrienne Rich talks about when revising — to look back and see with fresh eyes. We’re now entering the last part of the semester. Spring Break gave us an opportunity to consider where we’re at, our purpose, audience and organizational techniques. And we are looking at the semester with fresh eyes to finish strong.