**sigh** I'm up late tonight marking (grading) math midterms; I'm about halfway done and just really need a break. The scores so far are looking pretty abysmal, and there are a number of students who it looks like just completely gave up. Sometimes, students will have this conception that we enjoy giving out hard exams and low marks just to watch them suffer; it's really not the case. Marking is always a pain, and marking poor exams is awful drudgery. When the students are so clearly just not getting the concepts, completely misunderstanding the fundamentals, it really hurts. I wonder if anything's going in, if I'm making a difference at all. This semester I have been going a bit faster than we usually do, but in the big picture this math course is the very lowest-level math course we offer; it's material that really properly belongs at the high school level -- and I think it used to be that way in generations past. Yet, I still end up having to fail over a quarter of the class each semester. It hurts. But I know it's tough love that has to be done.
All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.