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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Creative problem solving

Bruce and I managed to find someone for all but three or four classes (after a few strategic cancellations), so now the creative problem solving begins. We have to swap Cox for Box for Sox for Dox kind of thing--and that's before we start getting the return phone calls saying that Box doesn't want class Q, which sets us scrambling again.

Still, as has been the case with scheduling full time faculty, the hard part is always when we get to the end of the stack and have less to work with. Well, so it goes. Bruce wasn't worrying about having "reserve" classes set up for some of our FT faculty who are looking at sections that are running pretty light (though he did already make a few swaps)--so I took some time to try to have a contingency plan in place, even though he kept telling me not to worry about it. I do worry, in part because it does us no good to offer a course to an adjunct, only to say, "Oh, oops, sorry: we need that back." It's better to say, "This is reserved for a full-time faculty member, but if that person doesn't need it after all, it's yours if you want it." We do let adjuncts know when classes are on hold--meaning the section could still be canceled for under-enrollment--and as a general policy we let them know about the "reserve" clause on what we're offering them, so I don't know why Bruce isn't worrying about having those reserves in place yet. It's certainly easy enough to set up the reserve, and if we don't need it, all the better.

But that's my thinking, not his.

As for my own classes, enrollment has been increasing rapidly in one of my 102 sections, and the other added a few more today--so I suddenly realized I hadn't ordered enough copies of the reader. I'll have to trot over to Printing and Publications tomorrow to see if they can do it for me in time. I know they'll moan and complain, but they usually get copies done way before we need them, so I think they can do it: they just don't want to face the bitching if something goes wrong and they can't. I fully understand that, and I'd do the same in their position, but man, I have my fingers crossed--because this is a job that would not come cheap from Staples. Well, we'll see.

Meanwhile, the SF class is nearly full--and still has only four (maybe five) women in it.

The fact that the numbers keep shifting also means I keep putting off making the photocopies of all the first week (or two) of handouts: there's no real problem if I end up having to crank out a few more at the last minute, but I think I can wait until Friday, or maybe even Monday (when adjuncts will be signing contracts). The main thing is to try to beat all my colleagues to the copy machines before the machines break down or run out of toner (both of which are routine occurrences in the first week of any semester). I've made a list of what needs to be copied and in what order--for about the fourth or fifth time--so I'm hoping I can keep myself on track and have what I need when I need it. I also keep running into the "Oh, yeah: when do I want to hand that out?" phenomenon. The abbreviated copies of the syllabi that I use to keep track of what I'm collecting and what I'm handing out now have hand scrawls all over them--and this is before the semester starts and I begin juggling due dates.


I have a little more time to fritter away before a doctor's appointment, but I think I'll head off anyway, maybe walk around the area near the doctor's office instead of sitting here trying to figure out what else I can do. That always ends up being dangerous. "Oh, I'll just do this one more thing; it won't take very long" invariably makes me late for appointments. And I'd like to be on time--plus it will be nice to walk around outside a little on this absolutely gloriously beautiful day.

1 comment:

  1. I am very grateful for these posts. But I suppose the self-help cliche' kicks in about now: I need to BE the blog post I wish to see in the world (of NCC). Still contemplating doing that. But for now, thank you...and I hope to be part of the scheduling solution, not part of the problem, B