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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

OK, so not so quick, but another calculated risk.

I have some time to make up in Advisement tomorrow, since I had to leave early on Monday to observe a colleague, but I'm hoping that it will be quiet enough that I can get all my paper grading done. Not that there's a lot: I have eight in hand and another two only submitted electronically. I'm pretty annoyed about the two submitted electronically, not in hard copy: one of the students did this last time around and the other has been barely dragging along all semester. The first of those two is a young man who seemed at first as if he'd do well, be responsible, even though he made it clear in his self-evaluation that he'd manage the work despite detesting it. The second is the one who begged me to just let her know her grade and then whined about how she was surprised because, after all, she'd worked so hard....

Cleansing breath. I'll decide what to do about them tomorrow. My impulse is to chuck 'em out the door, but then, I'm tired and have a headache and am hungry and am consequently cranky as all hell. I originally intended to make this a quick post, but I find it's getting away from me--but even so, I'm taking the risk of leaving all further work undone. I'll finish this post and flee.

Both classes today were not precisely scintillating: no energy in the room, including from yours truly. Ah well. Thursday more of the students in Nature in Lit should be percolating: they'll have done the reading (I hope) instead of putting all their energy into trying to hatch a paper. I don't quite know what to expect of the 102: I suspect it may be deadly for the remainder of the semester, as too many of the students are not reading the book and the ones who are reading it are doing a crap job of it (can't pick out a salient detail to save their lives) or aren't talking. I may have to growl and snap and breathe some more smoke, if not actual flames: the "I've read the book. This isn't for me; it's for you, because you're going to have to write your final papers on this, so you'd better be damned sure you get it."

However, I did just finish going through the job applicants and rating the applications, from zero (unqualified) to 5 (excellent combination of qualifications). So that's something to cross off the to-do list. On the other hand, I have to add an adjunct observation to the list. And--since I just checked e-mail and was reminded of the stinking mess--I'm trying to gracefully get out of a truly idiotic e-mail exchange with a faculty member who is hysterical over nothing of any substance. She raised an issue about how scheduling is done, so William told me about it (since I'll still be on scheduling, assuming I'm re-elected, and he'll be on sabbatical), and together we decided to bring it to P&B. After discussing it with P&B, I wrote to her and said if she was concerned, she needed to find other faculty who share her concern and draft something up in writing to submit to P&B. You'd think I'd put her in public stocks and accused her of foul and heinous deeds, and no matter how I try to explain to her what happened and why, she's simply getting more wild and bizarre and throwing all sorts of idiocy into the mix. I finally simply replied, "Thanks for clarifying," though in fact she's muddied the waters completely--but this isn't a tempest in a teacup: it's a hurricane in her own mind, and there is not even a teacup's worth of matter from which to create all the sturm und drang. Mostly I simply want her to shut the fuck up and leave me alone. If she doesn't drop it, I may simply stop replying: I feel like I'm feeding a tantrum, when we all know that the best way to handle a tantrum is to ignore it utterly. I've been treating her with respect as a colleague, but I'm about out of patience (and have long since run out of even the most rudimentary collegial respect).

That's not particularly a note I like to end on, but as I noted above, this was supposed to be a quick post, and it's grown into something a great deal more substantive than I anticipated. And I really do want to do rudimentary self-care sorts of things like, oh, eat (another "missed lunch" day), get to bed as early as I possibly can (though it's unlikely to be as early as would be optimal). And take those cleansing breaths until tomorrow, which is that other day we're continually promised. Thank god.

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