One thing I love about teaching is the prospect of a "do-over" every semester for the repeat courses. It's a great thing being given the opportunity to restate information to students, to tweak assignments to make them more effective, to adjust lecture material to make it more interesting and accessible.
J seemed to have the same feeling with the start of the semester. Towards the end, he gave up because the snowball had become too large to manage. He blew major classes in the semester because he believed there was no chance to salvage his grades, and he was probably right. Too much make-up work.
Tonight he's working hard to complete assignments. He told me he was going to really try to get all the homework done. "Check my homework every day, Mom. I'm really going to do this. I have to."
Do-overs are soooo wonderful.