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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

We're so screwed

The post title is a tag-line from the TV series Farscape, and it's apropos. Notice has already gone out that Wednesday classes are canceled all day (partly in response to the screaming that's been going on about how long it took the announcement to go out about Monday's cancellations). This means that I won't meet with the students in the M/W 102 at all this week--and that means there is no way in hell they can be ready with papers on Monday. On top of which, depending on which weather site one checks, there could be a "snow shower" on Sunday--or "a chance for heavy snow." If the snow is heavy enough and hits late enough, there goes Monday.

So, I can't do anything at all except wait, and reconfigure the schedule when I know what the hell is happening. It isn't as bad as when Hurricane Sandy hit and the entire Island ground to a halt for a week, but I am nearly at the same point, ready to just say "ah, fuck it" and call the semester a wash.

I want to come up with contingency plans--a stacked series of "if/then" scenarios--but I don't know if it actually benefits me in any real way. I will say that the Presidents' week break is turning out to be particularly disruptive, given all this. I also know that if we get too many of these days of cancellations, we'll have to either give up part of spring break or tack days on to the end of the semester. I don't want to go there yet--no sense in getting my knickers in a knot over something that hasn't happened and may not--but I am aware of the possibility.

Well, once again, the cosmos intends to remind me that it's good to make plans--but it's also good not to count on them, as one never knows what is going to happen next.

I can, however, talk about what already happened. I bailed on a meeting I'd forgotten about in order to be prepared for P&B (got that cover letter drafted: whew) and I managed also to get everything marked for today's classes (which, I confess, I could easily have done at home yesterday, if I'd made more than a vague gesture in that direction). I was interested to note that Nature in Lit went much better today--more interaction, more understanding, more alert faces--but, almost as if to compensate, the 102 did not fly. The students seemed to do well enough in their groups, but once I turned it over to discussion with the class as a whole, silence ensued. Just enough students had something to say to keep the class from dying entirely, but I had to do a lot more of the question-question-question-recap-question-question process than I like. Well, so it goes. Perhaps Thursday's class will be more lively. I hope so.

And speaking of lively classes, I was planning on going to tango class tonight--trying to get in the Tuesday night habit--but now I'm wondering if I've got it in me. Given the trauma of my beautiful, tight schedule getting kicked to shit, I'm very tempted to indulge in "I need a treat" behavior: take myself out for a nice dinner--with a drink--and read fluff. I will have to take work home, so I can be ready for Thursday's classes; not that that has anything to do with whether I dance tonight, except it makes me feel all the more like I need a treat. Even though it's a day when I'd be marking student work in any event, my psyche sees it as grossly unfair when I have to do that at home instead of in the office. ("So, why don't you stay in the office tonight and get it done?" "Oh, shut up.")

We'll see how I feel after I do the organizational noodling that always ends the day: getting the triage piles sorted out. (I suppose we could read "piles" in the sense of "hemorrhoids," too. OK, one can't "sort out" that kind of piles, but sometimes the pain in the ass factor of the triage process makes the reading metaphorically apt.)

All I can say right now is that the storm better be pretty damned bad tomorrow. If not--well, I'll have to develop an appropriately sanguine attitude, I suppose. Calm yourself, Prof. TLP, calm yourself. Ain't nothing you can do about it but wait and see.

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