Listen, I know I often phone it in on graphics, Fab, but you have to admit this one is the shit!
Didn't take very long either.
You are worth every penny of your salary.
Pretty cool. Also accurate, because somebody spends a lot of time each year "updating" the orientation, and the results are depressingly similar to last year's "update."
the one lesson that I can recall: arrive first before the good cookies are gone
Yes! I was about to comment something similar. Get there before only decaf is left.
My preferred strategy - arrive early enough to get a good plateful of free sugary carbs with no nutritional value, a corner seat and a mug of decaf. Inhale first and third, then occupy second in a pre-diabetic coma for the morning. As a pain-reduction strategy, it can work a treat!---Grumpy Academic---
I once learned how completely incompetent one of my "colleagues" was/is. During the meeting, some were sharing their teaching strategies and he told everyone he lets students write and revise all papers as many times as they want (with ever-increasing grades) all during the semester. Some countered by saying it was very nice that he did this, but that they did not have that kind of time (or energy) to do the same.Yet, I was completely shocked and surprised when he rebuked my right to teach my class my way by imposing his own, lackadaisical, hand-it-in-any-time policy on me during a grade appeal of 2 very mediocre students. Silly me for believing in academic freedom.
Welcome, Anon...could you use the NAME/URL option (you don't need a URL) for commenting? Or at least put a user name at the bottom of your comment. Tough for us when we don't know who's commenting. Thanks very much. Enjoy.
For a second I was afraid you were talking about me, because I had a writing class structured that way for a while. But then they raised the cap and I couldn't teach the class that way without going insane. The idea behind it was that students would really learn how to write by actually addressing issues in subsequent drafts, which would be graded strictly but fairly. It worked for a lot of students, I think, but it's too damned time consuming. And I would never, ever, ever, ever undermine a colleague's stated syllabus policy in a grade appeal, never, ever, ever. The freedom to teach the way you see fit is sacred to me.
As a pedagogy, I see the value in revision. In practice, unlimited revisions means unlimited headaches. Still, like you, I believe in academic freedom: Teach your class as you see fit. Sadly, I have rarely gotten the same respect from others. There is always SOMEONE who thinks their way is not just THE BEST way, but the ONLY WAY, and all others are harming the defenseless little cherubs.-Anon y Mouse (sorry for the lack of signature in the previous post... Blogger ate my homework.)
Hmm. . .the last time I was "oriented" was a while ago, though it did happen twice in two successive years at the same school (I've actually been officially hired to my present position 3 times, but the third didn't involve an orientation). I honestly don't remember a thing, which is probably just as well, because the information would be out of date by now anyway. I do have a vague memory that filling out the paperwork for benefits was a relief, since I'd been buying (really shitty) individual insurance for several years(and had paid a good deal for COBRA for several years before that). So the whole process can have some highlights for those who've been adjuncts (of course I suspect many adjuncts are required to sit through orientation, probably including some lectures on how to avoid admitting that they work more than 30 hours a week lest they become eligible for health insurance, without getting any benefits). I suspect the most useful thing these days is instruction/help in getting the all-important username and password to access email, the LMS, etc., etc. When I started work back at the turn of the century, it actually wasn't a disaster that it could take up to a week to get email set up. The department orientation was much more useful (and the beginning of the year workshop remains so).
During my orientation, I learned just how brain-dead and intellectually dishonest my administration could be. Our associate provost advised us to put explicitly in our syllabi that cell-phone use during class was prohibited, and told that if we didn't, we couldn't expect our students to comply. I was taken aback by this: I pointed out that it's just not possible to cover all possible contingencies. I got a deer-in-the-headlights look. Then our provost went on and on about the virtues of our "children." I asked him how conscientious they were: whenever I assign homework, how likely are they to do it? He frowned, and dodged the question. Subsequent experience showed that neither interaction would portend well.
I learned not to start a PPT presentation with music. Especially banjo music. That goes on for three minutes. At full volume. While I vainly try to screech over top of it.
Oh, my. I just completed some online "training" that consisted of someone reading powerpoint slides out loud in a monotone (with no access to the powerpoints alone, of course). A bit of banjo music would have been a welcome distraction, though not all that useful otherwise. Somewhere there's a happy medium/effective approach. At the moment, the trend toward video "training" seems mostly to be presenting me with material I could read more quickly (and accurately, and with greater retention) than someone can speak it, in a form that prevents me from being able to take advantage of that disparity.
I learned that orientations in academia are as much a slog to get through as orientations outside academia.
Although I agree they are a slog, outside academia I found them an escape; inside they force me away from doing something useful.I also find they mess up my day so that it's hard to get back to work afterwards. Even a 60 or 90 minute rehash of something I (have to) see every year annoys me so much that I can't easily concentrate for quite a time afterwards. Probably just me and my cantankerousness, though.
An orientatation session I might actually listen to: "How to get through uninformative and pointless meetings without blowing the rest of the workday on counting the minutes till you can go home and drink."
I learned this super valuable tidbit, which I've used multiple times:"Alright, if we all shut up and pay attention, we can be out of here in X amount of time."
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