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Thursday, April 7, 2016

Quit noodling!

Clearly I am not going to accomplish anything of any value work-wise this evening. The usual litany of things to do could be recited (probably by all of you as well as by me), but I just don't wanna. We'll see at the end of the day on Monday whether this is Bad Decision #4287, but I'm rather hoping that it won't matter.

I am aware, however, that I cannot count on time in Advisement to do any marking of anything: registration starts on Monday, and when I was in today, making up some time, there were sudden floods of students at various points. At the end of the fall semester, when students absolutely know they have no time in which to register (and when the "I couldn't get any of the courses I wanted" experience is more fresh in their minds), the flood just goes on and on and on. It's generally less packed and anxious feeling at this time of year, because students (unwisely) think, "Oh, I have the whole summer in which to register; I don't have to do it now." Granted, their foolishness does make life a little easier for us--but even without the deluge of students we tend to see in the fall, there's just enough activity to make it very difficult to get any work done.

So, of course, all the "shoulds" set in: I should at least mark all the responses for the Poetry class; I  should update the discussion board post marks for the comp students; I  should spin a few more plates and try to pick up a few pearls.

But I'm just kinda, well, done. I'm very aware of the fact that next week I have to be in early two mornings in a row--Wednesday for a seminar hours committee meeting, Thursday to observe one of our untenured colleagues (they get observed every year; the rest of us only when we have a promotion pending). Wednesday, I also have an appointment with someone in Distance Ed (faculty development division) so I can learn some of the features of Blackboard that I don't know how to use yet. This is prep for applying for a stipend to develop an online version of Nature in Lit, which I'd love to do, for any number of reasons--among them a hunch that the class might actually run if it's offered as an online course. There's a whole application for the stipend; then there's the whole process of putting together the Distance Education Equivalency form (hereafter the DEE)--which needs to simultaneously be precise enough to indicate that the online version of the course would accomplish what the face-to-face version is meant to accomplish while remaining general enough that any professor could adapt it to his or her own teaching methods and course content.

As I write all that, I'm thinking, "Now, why did I think this was a good idea?" But first, it would be great if I could actually teach the course from time to time, with enough students of high enough quality that it would actually be interesting, and second, well, some extra cash is always a good thing.

And if I can get Nature in Lit to fly, I'll try for Native American Lit. The other great thing about developing the online edition of a course is that whoever created it then "owns" it for the next two times it is successfully offered. I admit that I do have a little bit of a feeling that those classes belong to me, and that I only grudgingly share them with other faculty--especially Nature in Lit, though honestly, more of my colleagues are genuinely qualified to teach that than is true of Native American Lit.

Wow, and just like that, I started to get a headache. Clearly my body is telling me that it's time to go, so I'm going to listen to it for a change. I'll be back here, posting, on Monday, good Lord willin' and all that.

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