Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Tina from Texarkana On Schedules.
But I will start with the most painful: my schedule. Despite having organized a (as much as possible) reasonable teaching schedule, it all fell apart. The reasons are numerous and, sadly, beyond my control: new registration policies, overall low enrollment, new deans, and some poor decisions by the administrative layer.
My schedule now resembles that of an adjunct, not a tenured professor. I have 5 classes in every possible configuration: super large early morning lecture, followed by mid day lecture, followed by very late night class followed by a small morning lecture, and the week capped by a long practical afternoon course. And 5 separate preparations in 3 different subjects and with 3 new preparations. (The dean, worried about an adjunct's low teaching load, asked me to take on an impossible schedule: late night class followed by early am class. I declined, and was forced to opt for a slightly less impossible schedule. ) My schedule was finally resolved on the Friday before classes start. This in turn made my syllabi writing stressful, and fraught with errors.
As my spouse likes to point out to me, I am no longer 20. That one twenty hour day (due to commute issues) is taking the toll. I forget to copy and distribute important assignments to class. I spent 15 minutes trying to remove a DVD from a laptop that I had actually never inserted. I put the butter in the silverware drawer.
Each day brings a new task via my email box, while I grapple with immediate crisis, such as misbehaving students, and missing textbooks, which the bookstore failed to order.
My list of things I want and need to accomplish (in hopes of avoiding this situation again) is turning yellow on the cork board above my desk. Hopefully, I am also not turning yellow, but my hair is quickly turning white. I am telling myself these white hairs are mere highlights.