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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Been a while...

It's remarkable to me how easy it is to lose momentum on anything work related, and how hard it is to get the momentum going again. I promised myself that I would get some work done today, and I came very close to breaking that promise, but I did work ... a little. I finally read that last critical essay that I had uncovered to my dismay some time back and wrote up the annotation for it--and I read through the rest of that particular chapter, fixing embarrassing typos and clearing up awkward language (though I know that if Paul were to go over it, he'd be able to tighten up my prose significantly: next to "verbose" in the dictionary is a picture of me). I did not, however, look at the chapter in which I analyze one of the themes in the novel--and that's the part I most want to finish and yet have the hardest time getting myself to do.

I'd give myself a harder time about slacking off if it weren't for the fact that I've gone two nights in a row now with nowhere near enough sleep; given how groggy I've felt, it's actually quite an accomplishment that I managed to get anything done at all. So, I'll give myself a little pat on the head for doing more than nothing.

And after all, tomorrow is another day. Maybe I'll be able to get a solid stint of work in before I head off to my riding lesson.

Maybe. Don't hold your breath.

Next week I have to be on campus three days: once for a meeting of the seminar hours committee (ugh), and then two days to try to learn--again--how to use our online course platform so I can do more work electronically with students. If I can get things set up, I may ask for them to respond to readings on an online discussion board, rather than handing in stuff on paper. I can actually ask for a little more from them that way--including that they respond to what classmates have posted (and more than just "I agree" kind of responses). We'll see. I'm not sure how much ambition I have for further reconfigurations of the classes, but it's worth thinking about.

I just went on Banner, however, and checked the number of students registered in my courses. One of my 101 sections has gone from having two students to having zero; the other section has three; the MDC course still sits at zero, and there are still eighteen in Mystery and Detective. I know that incoming freshmen are still taking placement tests and trying to figure out where they want to go, but from what I just saw--looking at 001, 100, and 101--enrollment is frighteningly low across the board. I hope like hell that there is a surge of enrollment in June and July, or my August, finalizing adjunct schedules with Bruce, is going to be a cluster fuck of epic proportions: we'll be canceling sections left, right, and center, and even highly senior adjuncts may have to go without work.

Of course, this is why the Board wants to essentially completely do away with placement testing: you have a pulse, you can take a credit-bearing course. They think students will be encouraged to come to NCC if we make it ridiculously easy for them to get what they think they want--just like going to the mall. I don't know what accounts for the drop in enrollment (which, by the way, may well mean I get paid significantly less for my evening supervisor position, as my pay is based on the number of "full-time equivalent" students enrolled), but I am pretty damned sure that the problem isn't that it's difficult to get into NCC....

Time will tell. (Oooo, another cliched expression: maybe I should start using that instead of "we'll see.") Meanwhile, nothing intelligent is coming out of my brain for the remainder of today, and it's gloriously sunny with a lovely breeze outside, so I'm going for a good walk. I'll post again whenever I have anything remotely post-worthy to say....

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