Christmas Gift

I just finished grading the final exams in my course on Contemporary Spain and I’m happy to report that for the very first time in my long and productive teaching career I have been able to give a well-deserved grade of A for every single exam written in this section. These students amazed me, people. We covered so much material in the course, yet the students managed to absorb it and analyze it in a shockingly excellent manner.

And this wasn’t just some easy-peasy multiple choice, “When did the Spanish Civil War begin?” kind of exam. Oh no, not at all. The students were asked to write 3 essays on the history, politics and economy of Spain in the XXth century. Real analytical essays. In Spanish.

Of course, this was an exceptional group all semester long. They always studied together, formed groups to go over the material, persecuted me with questions, helped each other. As a result, the final exams were sensational. Obviously, not everybody will get an A in the course. In fact, most people won’t. But this is a great achievement for a final exam. I’m thinking I must be a pretty darn good teacher to get them so interested in the material.

I’m now sitting here, bawling my eyes out because this is true happiness for a teacher. To see an entire group of students engage with the material in such a passionate, insightful, deeply personal way is priceless.

And to the person who told me that the course wouldn’t work, that the students wouldn’t care, that they were not prepared for this amount of complex material, that I should stop thinking that I’m still at Cornell, that I should start dumbing down my material, I have this to say: put this in your pipe and suck on it, fella. And then stick it deep into your anal cavity.

6 thoughts on “Christmas Gift”

  1. Yesterday, I received my first christmas present, a ticket bonus for cleaning apartments with a book containing all ad hoc vocabulary. I studied it last night until 9 pm and I barely slept with emotion on my new knowledge. So much so that I am getting ready to continue today and tomorrow. My goal is to have everything learned for next week.


    1. Observer: you can come back to the blog if it’s so important to you. Just try to control the weirdness, ok? It must get tiresome, what’s with entering all of these different nicknames and all. I put you on probation. If you manage to control the weirdness for a while, I will let you comment freely once again.


  2. If I recall well the conditions for participating in your blog, one of them was that anyone could use as many nicknames as wanted. Maybe you have changed idea and that’s ok. Don’t worry but thanks.


    1. ” If asked to leave – just go. If a blogger asked you to leave their site, just do it. Believe me, even if it’s the most fascinating blog in the universe, the Internet still doesn’t end there. You will find other places where you can express your opinions. Or just start your own blog and nobody will be able to ban you from it. Don’t overanalyze the banning either. Who cares why this particular blogger doesn’t like you?”


  3. This post made me very happy. Usually at this time in the semester I start wondering if I have been talking to myself for the last three months. Knowing that at least some students are paying attention to someone is encouraging, and it’s especially great to hear that they are learning more about the wider world and learning to express themselves well in another language.

    Considering some of the weird comments you have been getting, I hope this doesn’t come across as sarcastic, because I mean it absolutely sincerely! Thank you for the good news. 🙂


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