I haven’t been writing about work because things with work are, aside from non-important irritating things, really, really good. Moving back to the 5-day-a-week schedule has been a revelation. Turns out, being on a consistent schedule in terms of work and sleep really makes a difference in one’s quality of life. I’m not saying I’d have this schedule if I taught a 2/2 load, or even a 3/3. But with a 4/4? WOW it is good. CF and I were talking about it today, and even she says she notices the difference in me. “You don’t look tired anymore,” she said. No, I don’t. Why? Because I’m not! And also: I am on top of grading and also caught up or ahead with course prep. And I actually know most of my students’ names. And I don’t wake up in the morning with my first thought being, “God, I wish I didn’t have to teach.”
And I’ve actually returned to my book manuscript, and I have time for that plus time to juggle the dating and to have quality friend time. Sure, the weekends are short. But as I am caught up, I really get to do no work on the weekends.
So it isn’t that I don’t have anything to say about professing – it’s just that there isn’t drama with work at all right now, and that is pretty fucking great, and I don’t want to just talk about how great my life is here, because seriously.
But so let me briefly report on the professing stuff:
- I have the greatest students this semester, in all of my classes. They are motivated and smart and engaged. Yes, it’s true: in my one gen ed class, this is not the case for all of them. But most of them are into it. And attendance is really good, and even the least engaged amongst them are learning.
- My theory students are terrified and overworked and feeling like they might die, but I feel like that is just about right for this point in the semester. They just had their first test, and 2/3 did just fine. The one third that didn’t? Well, they either will step it up, withdraw, or fail. And I’m ok with that. My favorite moment so far this semester from them was that they took their first test, and I posted the results on blackboard before I handed it back. I’ve got this one STELLAR student, and he totally came to my office to ask if his grade (he missed only one point – including extra credit) was a typo. Like he couldn’t believe he’d done so well. When was the last time you had a student challenge a grade that was over 100%? It was awesome!
- My new prep is going very well and I’m very pleased with their engagement. I wonder if they realize the work I do in order to prep for our small class – I read my course evals from last semester and students negatively commented on the fact that I was using a discussion-based model, for they thought that I didn’t have to prepare to make that happen. Because, you know, it’s so easy to get a good conversation about difficult material going and to make it feel natural.
- And I am loving my survey course partly because I’m teaching it 3 days a week (for like the second time ever) and partly because FUCKING KEATS! FUCKING MATTHEW ARNOLD! FUCKING ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING! And Wednesday is FUCKING GERARD MANLEY HOPKINS! I bitch about the survey a lot, but it gives me the opportunity to teach a lot that I love that I don’t have room for otherwise.
- In non-teaching news, my agenda for program-level assessment for the department progresses apace, and it is going to be great when it all comes together. Assessment is often a thing that faculty hate to hear mentioned, but I think I’ve made it palatable if not enticing, and people are on board. And I’m excited that I have the skill to do that, and I’m excited about the potential for the work that I’m doing to positively impact our major and minor. Because, frankly, I don’t give a shit about the external reasons for us doing this, even though the fact that we are doing it will put us in a good position in relation to those.
- In other non-teaching news, my institution is working out the kinks in our new strategic plan. All in all, I think that the new strategic plan is good. But I would adore it if I never had to hear the word “transdisciplinary” again. Especially because most of the people involved don’t know what the fuck it means.
See what I mean? I don’t really have anything of note to report. Which is why I’m busy being boy-crazy on this here blog. But really the most exciting thing for me upcoming is that I will be going with my friends T and S to see Lydia Loveless, whom you must check out, for she is awesome.