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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Late post from home

Right after class, I dashed back to the office, dropped my stuff, and joined up with Kristin for a dinner out: she had to do a presentation at evening club hour (a relatively new event for students who can't do things during regular day events), so since she was going to be out here late, she asked if I'd be available. You damn betcha. Lovely dinner in the best of company--and we only spent about the first half of it bitching about work.

I put in some time on the promotion folder today: what a snorting pain in the patoot, but I'm in the phase where I just need to match up the pieces and cross check them. I spent quite a bit of time sending off e-mails asking for missing documents (always a little embarrassing, but I'm certainly not the only one in that particular situation), but it it gradually, slowly starting to take shape.

Classes were a mixed bag. The earlier class was back to being the more lively, mostly because the potential favorite student who has been AWOL was back: I got an e-mail from him this morning explaining why he hadn't responded or shown up yesterday, and he was back in good form in class today. His life situation is still a mess, so I hope he can stay on track now. He's got so much potential, I'd hate for him to get derailed. Of course, he didn't have a paper ready, but at least he has good reason; a few other students didn't have papers ready and didn't have any particular reason why not. And a few were absent. One is simply gone: this was his fourth absence in a row. I'll give him until the 6th before I draw a line through his card and stick in the file labeled "gone," but I'm damned sure I won't see him again. One is the student who sent me the "it's not fair" e-mail over the weekend: no surprise there. And one is a student who, again, seems to have tons of potential but hasn't been showing up and turning in work regularly: I already issued her with an "early warning," so I'm concerned that she vanished yet again today.

Still, with Mr. Formerly AWOL back in class, the discussion was pretty great (though two students were falling asleep in the back--and I had no qualms saying, "and so-and-so is asleep back there"; the student would wake up long enough to make eye contact and attempt to be alert and then a few minutes later, back to sleep. Ah well.). I realized that I'm having them read an article that we probably won't have a chance to discuss on Thursday, as the day will be devoted to working on their papers--but it just means they'll have all the more to talk about when Bruce observes the class next Tuesday.

The second class was a lot more quiet. Everyone was alert (and the world needs more lerts), but they didn't have quite as much to say. It wasn't a bad class, just not as much going on as the session before. I showed both classes a newer "Story of Stuff" video--this one about solutions. I hadn't seen it before myself, but they responded to it with great interest. So, off we go. They're prepared to switch between working on their papers about education and gathering information for their next papers about environmental issues: I always am impressed by how sanguine they are when I tell them they're going to have to flip back and forth. Doesn't phase them in the least--I suppose because they all are used to that kind of rapid switch. (I have more difficulty with it than they do.)

Now, in addition to the paper grading for tomorrow, I also have to remember to get some materials ready for the Fiction Writing class. I had considered canceling it--am still considering calling in "sick" to Advisement--but since I have a meeting I can't miss in the afternoon, and thus have to be on campus anyway, I'll at least teach my class. I have to decide whether to risk it with Advisement, but at the moment, I feel as if seeing even one or two students would throw my concentration and slow me down significantly, so I'm inclined to bail. But I'll decide in the morning. The alarm is already set for 6 as is.

And with that thought, I need to stop thinking about work (OK, try to think less about work) and begin the glide toward bed. I know I won't get enough sleep (is there such a thing?) but every little increment toward enough is worth fighting for. And tomorrow is ... well, we all know what tomorrow is.


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