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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Well, we'll see

As far as I can tell, I'm pretty much set to start the fall semester. I'll have to sort through all the stuff that I'll get back from the printing center, put it in the right folders in the right order--and of course I found two mistakes on the 101 syllabus (oops), which I'll correct by hand. (One doesn't really matter so much--I have the wrong date next to a day of the week--but the other is a missing page number for an assigned reading, and it's kind of hard for the students to know how far to read if the significant numeral is a mystery.)

And of course, because I truly am the absent-minded professor, I realized I had created two different versions of a handout for the fiction writing class--and once I looked them over, I realized I really wanted a sort of Vulcan mind-meld of the two. So I created yet another version that had all the bits I wanted from the first two; fortunately, there are only 13 students in that class, so I only needed to make 13 copies: no big deal for me to stand next to the copier that long nor for the department to pay for the toner.

Whew.

Right at the moment, I'm mostly hoping that I have the most correct, up-to-date versions of all the handouts both on my thumb drive (so I can transfer them to the computer at home) and on my faculty home page (so students can find them if necessary). Well, if not, I suppose the world won't come to a screeching halt (though one never knows).

I also ran into one of my colleagues from the "seminar hours" ad hoc committee, which was a reminder that I really do have to think through and write down some suggestion about that before we meet--and we're meeting right away when the semester starts. I'll have time somewhere between now and then, but I do want to work my way through my thinking in writing, so I'm sure the ideas are clear, make sense, are possible to implement without too much faculty resistance while still satisfying administrative desires. Bleagh.

On a much more pleasant note, there has been a small flurry of e-mails with my colleagues from psych and bio, the ones I threw together a panel idea with. I don't recall if I noted here, but the panel very nearly got lost in the shuffle. Fortunately, my colleague from psych raised a question about the fact that we'd not heard anything; another colleague is the president of the regional chapter of the organization, and she checked with the conference organizers; they loved our idea--and scrambled around to find a time for us. So, we've been accepted--and now my colleagues are starting to think about what they'll want to say and how to say it when we actually present. I have some ideas, but again, I need to start working them through in writing. Not just yet, however: the conference isn't until November, and I know if I try to do it now, not only will I lack the needed sense of panic to get my ass in gear, by November I'll have forgotten what I wrote or where I put it. But it is fun to at least know we're really going to do it--and to mull over ideas, even in a rather vague and formless way.

Speaking of vague and formless: that's what I intend to be for the next few weeks, until I have to come in to help Bruce with the last-minute panic. I saw him briefly today, and he's in his usual state of frustration about the ever-moving target that is scheduling adjuncts. We haven't even gotten to the point where we have to look at class counts and see what's in danger of being canceled: that's when I'll get to join the fun. I told him to call me if he needs help, but he's terrible about it, so I told the secretaries to keep an eye on him and to call me if he doesn't. He's like me, though: at this point, so much of it is in his own head, it would be harder to explain enough so I could help him than just to deal with it himself. Right now, I'm slated to come in and work with him on August 20 and 21; then I'll be on campus from the 26th through the end of that week--and then classes start.

I write that out and begin to feel like I should start hyperventilating right now, but in fact, I've got a few weeks to work on that sea-cucumber impression I like so much, simply rolling about with the tide. Ahhh. So, unless something highly unusual happens, here endeth the summer-time posts from Prof. TLP.

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