I find it interesting that I can't seem to help making those first day judgments when I look out at a whole new set of student faces. I'm immediately making bets with myself about who will succeed, who won't, who might but will be shaky--and my experience is that I'm often wrong. I met the first group of 101 students today (well, all but three of them, apparently--according to the latest roster I have), and one told me she has to miss the next two classes because she couldn't change her work schedule (ouch); one told me he has a very hard time staying on top of his homework (e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for a mentor); one was very worried about what's due when and the discussion boards and submitting papers online (one step at a time; I'll give you all that information when you need it, so all you need to do is read what you're supposed to read for Thursday).
I went over the syllabus more than I usually do. I'm hoping I've scared a few off. Last semester I was fussing because I didn't have enough students; now I'm fussing because I have too many. Ah well.
Getting all the handouts organized and in class folders and basically sorted for the next week or so took me an inordinate amount of time. I grant you, I wasn't here at 10--more like 11 (life maintenance being done before I left home)--but I worked pretty much straight through until I left to teach at 3:50. The one unexpected hitch was that my monitor was going wonky: I kept getting a message that said something about the power button being locked out--which would sit smack in the center of the screen, so I couldn't see what the hell I was doing--and then the monitor would shut off. After a while, not only would it shut off, I couldn't use the power button to turn it back on: I had to unplug it and plug it back in again--and this was happening about every minute or less. No exaggeration: I couldn't write a two line e-mail without the problem getting in my way--several times--and I type fast. But our wonderful departmental tech assistant decided to hell with the work order: she just brought me a new monitor. It's wide-screen, which is nice, but I think I have to put a book under it, as I can't get it quite as high as I want it. The main thing, though, is that it works, which is a wonderful relief. It's one of those instances of realizing how much I take something for granted, how much I rely on it without even thinking about it--and feeling wildly grateful when it's back to normal.
I still have stacks and piles of filing to do (where's that damned TA?), but the main thing I'm thinking about is what it's going to be like to navigate from building to building tomorrow. I'll be teaching in a new annex building for the first time. I understand it's a lovely building, but it's one of those "you can't get there from here" kind of things--at least not on foot--but I don't intend to drive if I can possibly walk it. My current plan is to have my wheeled pack, already filled with what I need for tomorrow, in the car tonight. Then tomorrow, I'll park by the annex and walk to Advisement, then walk back to the annex to teach my class--and then drive to the second class: that's the only time when there's a very small window of time and a fair amount of territory to cover. I may spend a few weeks figuring out what makes most sense in terms of parking, but I do think it's going to be crucial to have my pack set up the night before (or Thursdays before I leave campus) and already in the car; if I have to drop by the office, I can, but I'll still have to park near the annex, or I don't think I'll make the transition from class to class.
I also realized that some students might not understand that NA is different from N in designating the building where class meets, so I sent a class e-mail. To my delight, I got an almost immediate response from two students--but Paul wisely suggested that I put a sign outside the room in N to direct students to the correct place. I'll do that before I split tonight--despite the arctic wind out there. (Yes, I'll walk from here to N and back: I am a strong woman--and it takes all of about 5 minutes to get from here to N.)
Before I go, I'll do one more check of Banner to see if my rosters have changed. We get updated photo rosters from time to time, but Banner reflects the changes more quickly. Students can add classes through next Monday--and will--so I won't know for sure who's really in any of my classes for a while yet. And so it goes here. C'est la vie.
I don't think there's much more from the day to relate, so I'll leave it at that. More tomorrow, my faithful followers.