Despite the number of times I have reminded myself that the professor's disastrous class is sometimes the student's marvelous experience, and vice-versa, I have never weaned myself from the bad habit of trying to cast the runes regarding my evaluations. Shortly after returning home from NYC this evening, I wandered over to the English department (after figuring out how to get into the building--workmen have blocked off several entrances), extricated my course evaluations out from under yet another MA thesis and several graduation cards awaiting my (illegible) signature, and steeled myself for the bad news. Much to my relief, there wasn't much in the way of bad news; all of my students liked me this semester. [Sally Field] You like me! You really like me! [/Sally Field] Indeed, the students greatly preferred me to nineteenth-century British literature; I suspect that Middlemarch induced some gloom and doom in my upper-division course. (Insert arcane calculations of Middlemarch's effects on the "subject matter" scores here.) Needless to say, however, the students I expected to keelhaul me were the students who gave me by far the best scores of both the semester and the year. In fact, I think these may have been the best scores I've ever received for this particular course.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to return my fortuneteller's license.