Sunday, January 18, 2009


There is plenty to do but a feeling that it is all possible if I don't let myself get overwhelmed. There's still a week before one of my F2F classes meets to start the semester. I will put up some more material for them to prep for the first part of the semester. Seeing who has taken time to take a look and work on some of it enough to have questions will help me get to know my students a bit better before I see them the first time. I keep thinking of ways to get around the various issues perplexing students when they enroll in a class late. I don't want to hold the rest up but it's hard not to create extra work for yourself when students seem to think it is up to you to catch them up instead of their showing a bit more initiative - esp. with all of it online on the university's CMS site. (If I'm rambling a bit more than usual, it's because I'm thinking aloud.)

The best news right now is that my annual performance report that is due Tuesday is already submitted. I was able to get enough of it done before break despite the numerous distractions from the normal semester. This year I'll aim to get it done before I go on break and maybe just have to wait for the end-of-course evaluations.

One of the small breakthroughs I've had lately is to look at these evaluations as what they are - course evaluations - and not evaluations just of me. Some students love the technology throughout the classes while others are still struggling with it apparently unaware how much of it will govern their future work lives. I have a course release for an outside service responsibility for the next two semesters and am hoping that, unlike my last course release, I don't let the work on fewer classes just expand to still fill the normal time it takes to handle a 12-hour load.

I've been able to get quite a bit of Truman work done even if it's not as much as I'd like. And I can finally give up the hope of finishing all the big household rearrangement tasks (if I haven't used it since I moved in over 15 years ago, I can probably get rid of it or donate it to charity) and resign myself to just keep plugging away on them. At least the outside isn't calling as much given the weather although more leaves need gathered. (That's probably related to the immediate neighbors who haven't picked up any and they keep blowing this way. . .. )

Not meeting my first class until the second week is preferred to meeting it once right away (it's once a week) and then having a week off. There's not as much playing catch up with the students who add in between.

I've posted the graduate syllabus for the course on political cartoons for the semester with all of the detail on the assignments. All that is left is creating the unit folders and links in the CMS. But that's a task for late in the day or evening and not when I'm at my best writing.

I had been feeling guilty that I wasn't working til 11pm like I did back in my 20s and 30s but am discovering that I can actually get more done if I take some time off. And in talking to a colleague that is a prolific scholar, she said she always stops at 6pm (unless there's an immediate deadline for indexing or proofs) and chills out - watching tv reruns is a favorite. She says some of her best ideas come then when she is letting her scholarly brain rest. I remember my major professor saying my best ideas would come when I was walking on the beach (my first TT job was at the University of West Florida) and while I didn't quite believe him and did NOT spend enough time on the beach the year I was there, I did finish the dissertation.

So, this week I need to get in my regular pattern for the semester before the grant teacher institutes and travel starts in late February.

But I am now ensuring that I take Sundays to read the newspapers. I used to not let myself do that until late in the day but have decided that is a good reward for working so hard all week. Besides, I will be working later today anyway.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Comments: Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]