I hear that phrase everywhere--and though I could certainly turn down somebody offering me drugs, I can't seem to say no to students.
They poured into my classes this semester, too, hoping desperately to get any free chairs in my classroom. I had 15 waitlisted in one class, eight in the other. I'd prepared myself, steeled myself against the onslaught. I'd told myself that I'd had two very hard terms already, and spring needed to be easier or I was going to go insane. I had to just tell them all no, tell them all to wait until fall and try to take one of these classes.
Did I tell you they were desperate? Don't believe me? Think I'm just a softy?
Well, I am, and I don't deny it. But never in my 17 years of teaching have I encountered such desperation. Students cried, in person and on the phone. One student offered to pay me per class session if he could just be let in. Another got on one knee and pleaded with me.
I do not joke. I do not exaggerate. And I couldn't say no. So now I have 5 over the class limit in one course, and six over the class limit in the other. I am going to be swamped, but I can't help it. How can I turn down somebody who wants to be in my class? I know the truth, too, that these students who got in will try so hard, will attack the class with as much energy as they pled to get in. My classes will rock with energy, and these students, though adding to my work load, will make the semester spectacular.
I just hope I don't drown under all the papers to come. Why, oh why did I not become an art instructor?