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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Hit by a bus?

I kinda feel like I've been hit by something, or, as my aunt would have said, like I've been drug backward through a brier patch. Frazzled, to say the least. Bruce was telling me not to worry about things, while he started losing his own patience--and ability to keep track of what his own notes meant. I lost track of about a million things myself: the fact that we have to keep records in multiple places started to cause problems (as it always does), but I tried to reassure Bruce that I wasn't worried, I was just conveying reminders--as much for my own benefit as for his--but he talked right over me. Fair enough. I piped down. He came in very late and left relatively early; I stayed later, but I'm about to head for the hills myself. The domino chains are still falling, but we got enough nailed down that our one remaining full-time office administrator can work on typing up adjunct contracts tomorrow, so they're ready for signing on Monday. There are still some classes unassigned (which does worry me, Bruce; I can't help it), and we're still awaiting word from a few adjuncts about whether they'll take what we have to offer or not. And I made a huge mistake and asked a full-time faculty member if I could help her when she came looking for Bruce; her request was relatively simple and made sense, but she was very concerned to convey all her various priorities and reasoning and so on, so what could have taken about 1 minute took more like 20.

Well, this is why I get paid the big bucks. The "funny" part is that my pay for evening supervision has gone down, because enrollment has gone down--but the amount of work I do prior to each semester has actually increased, as low enrollment means that scheduling is much more complicated. Well, c'est la vie. It does feel good when a knotty problem suddenly gets untangled and smoothed out. That doesn't go in the actual bank account, but it does mean that I am content to do the job.

As for my own schedule, the one 102 is still holding at 10 registrants--but the only other 102 offered at that time is almost full, so pretty soon, anyone else who wants to take the class at that time will be forced into my section. Again, I am baffled by why the other section is filling and mine isn't: I'm sure the Rate My Professor rankings are pretty equivalent (though for different reasons), and mine is alphabetically first on the scroll-down list--but it comes just below a big flag about the course above being an online course, and students don't pay attention to the word "above" and assume that the flag is for the course below the notice. That's the only thing I can think of--and I've just sent a message to the head of Advisement about it, hoping a few students can be chased into my section over the next few days. Bruce can also do what we call "leveling": taking students out of a section that is full (or nearly so) and placing them in a section that has low enrollment--and if the numbers in my class don't pick up over the weekend, I'll suggest that to him on Monday.

For now, however, I'm going to look briefly at what I have in the various chaotic stacks and piles around the office, maybe do a little organizing (or maybe flee, taking the Scarlett O'Hara approach), and then stagger off to do some life maintenance. I won't be back in the office until Monday, thank God, but I'm pretty sure I'll post whenever I finish my part of that day of cleaning up the results of the domino chains.

To quote Thurbur's wonderful story The Thirteen Clocks, "Goodbye, goodnight, and sorry."

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