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Sunday, January 15, 2017

Note to self: Do not try to predict the future

I've been watching enrollment since Cathy and I finished our wonderful adventure, and of course there's been a surge in late enrollment. It's entirely possible the late afternoon 102 on T/Th that was originally on my schedule but that we canceled might have gotten enough students to run. There is another section at that time that isn't full yet, so maybe not, but almost everything is now running at or near capacity. I'm sure there are students wailing about not being able to get a schedule that works, but I have very little sympathy--except for the odd case in which financial aid was uncertain until the last second or for some other reason beyond the student's control he or she was unable to register earlier.

Oh, and our new adjunct union rep filed two grievances, saying that two adjuncts "should" have gotten classes. One is the problematic adjunct I observed last semester--and who is now going to be observed unannounced and as often as we can legally manage; the other is an adjunct with incredibly low seniority who was only willing to work on Saturday mornings...

Well, she's new at the job and is trying very hard to do her job well--but I suspect the folks in labor relations (as well as the folks at the head of the union) are going to have a little conversation with her about what is a legitimate grievance and what isn't. I think Cathy and I are off the hook; we've explained pretty damned clearly why those adjuncts didn't get what they wanted, so now if it goes any further, the adjunct union has to press forward--and I doubt they will.

Backing up to the sudden surge in enrollment, it's been a teeny bit alarming to see my 102s suddenly start to bulge at the seams. I am, however, glad I didn't make any more copies of the syllabus than I did, as I've made at least three substantial changes to it since I made the copies. I've changed the syllabus for Nature in Lit, too. They're not drastic changes, but they're important changes, so I'll have to toss all the copies I made (thank god campus has a recycling program) and start all over. By Tuesday, however, I'll have a much better sense of how many students I actually have. The mid-day section is filled to capacity; the evening section is getting much closer. (Nature in Lit has been holding steady at 22 for a while now....)

I've been very happy to have a lot of work to do today, actually. Work is an excellent narcotic, for me at least. Some people clean house when they feel down; some people exercise. I do have other "drugs" of choice (chocolate and a good popcorn read, for instance), but sometimes work is the best one of all. The only downside to it is that I sit at the computer for hours on end--and then wonder why I feel so physically uncomfortable when I finally have to stand up.

I didn't get any work done on the online Nature in Lit, but that was a pretty distant possibility in any event. I may try to get to it tomorrow, but I have some life maintenance to do--and I'm meeting with the Timid Intellectual from semesters ago: she just finished her first semester at Mt. Holyoke, and I do look forward to hearing all about it. Still, if I can find a good sized chunk of time in there, it would be great to slam through a little more of that work, see how close I can get it to being ready before the end of the first week of classes. It's unlikely I'll have it ready and all the signatures in place for the first meeting of the College-Wide Curriculum Committee, but I really want it done as close to that date as possible. That way, I can get it to the February meeting of CWCC, to the Senate in March--and conceivably on the books for fall, which would be delicious.

I may even turn into one of those faculty members who teaches 50% online and only has to be on campus three days a week--but I doubt it. My hunch is I'll spend more time on any online course than I do on the face-to-face variety, and we all know that I spend waaaaaay too much time on my courses as it is.

I'm sure there was something more interesting I was going to note about the work today, but damned if I can remember what it was. Of course, I'm sure that some idiotic error will make itself known to me in the next few weeks and send me scrambling for a fix, but ah well. This is good enough for a Sunday--when I'm ostensibly still on "break" (whatever that is). And time just keeps rolling along.

1 comment:

  1. Good luck negotiating the online world! I've made a foray into FaceBook and retreated. It all seems like the marriage of Trump with Janice Gracken. Back to parchment fior me and wall posters. And I hear you on hours at the screen. Ones body must be born again -- not of the Spirit but of exercise...and sleep.