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Monday, May 11, 2015

Weird that it isn't weird

I've been on campus all day today, as I expected. Summer scheduling was only difficult in that there were way  more people looking for classes than classes being run--and because Bruce was there dealing with his own enormous stack of problems (the political state on campus continuing to deteriorate), so every now and then I'd have a hard time concentrating on what I was doing and would have to back-track to try to figure out whether I'd left out steps in the process. I had, in fact, left out steps just frequently enough that I need to go back through the whole thing, start to finish, and check each bit. There are four different stacks of paper on which I have to record information--and sometimes it's hard to figure out what the information actually is (the most frequent problem is trying to determine whether the person wants two courses in each summer term or whether the person wants two courses and doesn't care which term they're in). Sometimes people leave very helpful notes about what they're actually looking for; sometimes people leave long notes that are just annoying as hell--or incomprehensible (as in the case of the person who insists that the courses he wants to teach aren't on Banner--but if they're not on Banner, they don't exist and I can't assign them).

So, I took a break from all that in the early afternoon, then returned to it and really got as far as I possibly could get without a more significant brain break. Since setting that aside, I've spent a little time working to help ASLE find a replacement Professional Liaison Coordinator. Yes: I was a total whore. I used the position as PLC to help get me over the promotion hurdle, and now that I've got the promotion, I'm ditching it. I actually haven't done much of anything in some time about it all: when minor problems have arisen, they've been handled by the managing director, and I've just chimed in with "sounds good to me: thanks" sort of messages. Not that there aren't things I could have been doing, things it would be good for the PLC to do, but, well, the next person can take what I've done and move forward from there.

I may end up having to contact a bunch of people, extending the offer: "Hey, wanna be the PLC? No pay, you never know when you'll be busy, attendance at EC meetings highly recommended even though you don't have a vote, makes a great line on the CV...." The folks in charge are in the throes (and throws) of getting the conference pulled together, so I don't want to pile more on them at this juncture and have told them so. The first reaction I got was "yes, it would be great to have the list of people you've contacted about other liaison-type things in the past, and if you have a particular relationship with any of them, go ahead and contact them." My response was, "Here's the list and what I know about these people--but I know none of them personally, so wouldn't have any more persuasive abilities than anyone else. Still, if you want me to contact them because you're too busy..." So, I'll see what the bounce back is from that, take it from there.

The only other productive thing I did today was to change my mind about the style manual I'm requiring for my 101 students. We get desk copies of books all the damned time, and usually I don't look at them--especially readers, which I just don't use (I make my own)--but right on top of the stack of I-don't-know-what on my desk was a review copy of a new handbook, so I took a look at it and to my surprise discovered that I like it better than what I've been using. It starts with sentence-level stuff, and what it says about research and the writing process is more streamlined--and I think clear--than what I've been using. So, we'll give it a whirl, see how it goes. I do need to get a second copy, however, so I can do the usual one at home, one in the office thing, so wherever I'm working, I have one ready to hand.

I'm now trying to decide whether to do some more noodle work (check the academic calendar for fall, see if there are any of those "Tuesday is a Friday" days; print out old syllabi and start to adjust them, that sort of thing) or whether to head for the hills. Not feeling entirely groovy physically, but I'm finding this brief dip into the old familiar routines rather refreshing--and part of the old routine is that I don't leave until something drives me out the door. So, at least a little noodling, is what I'm thinking, and then out. No evenings out with Paul this week: this is the one way in which I'm still very detached from what's going on here on campus; I rather forget that it's the last week of classes and everyone is just a bit wild-eyed and staggering--and Paul in particular, because of the Academic Senate Executive Committee stuff (which is enough to make anyone go screaming around the bend). But he and I will both be around next week, what with one thing and another, so perhaps we'll make up for it then.

And in any event, I'll be here tomorrow, so, until then....

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