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Friday, February 10, 2017


I very nearly didn't come in today: campus was closed again (though I don't quite know why, as all the major streets were clear and most of the minor ones), and the lure of the whole "it's a snow day; I don't have to do anything but loaf" thing was pretty powerful. However, I knew that if I didn't get at least the P&B stuff done, or mostly done, I'd regret the hell out of it next week.

So I got Public Safety to let me into the building and into the main office, where the promotion folders are, and I reviewed the two I hadn't seen since their first incarnation back in October and wrote pages of notes; I typed up the notes and sent them off to my colleagues on P&B. Then I wrote first drafts of the two letters of support I'm responsible for and sent those to my colleagues. (And at some point in there, I had a sudden wave of panic: I don't remember if I looked at the Human Rights folder for Cathy--and as her mentor, I have to do that before members of the college-wide Promotion and Tenure committee look at it. So, Monday, between students, I'll be making a phone call about that--and maybe dashing over to the Tower building to view her file.)

Of course, Cathy has her promotion folder at home, but she'd sent me an electronic copy of the text part (not all the documents supporting her claims). I dug through it to find the high points to put in the letter for her--it actually was hard to find anything that wasn't a high point--and I found a few things I could fix or suggestions to make along the way. It needs more of a fine-tooth comb than I had time or patience for tonight, but I'll talk with her during the week to find out when she'll be working on it again and what she'd like me to do to help.

I also did a little test-drive of a method for commenting on student essays. I had asked two colleagues who regularly teach online what they do, and one suggestion works great for me: I can download the essay from Turnitin as a Word file, make comments using the "Review" function--then save the document as a PDF file, so my comments don't disappear (and so most students can't tinker with what I wrote, as most don't have anything more than Adobe Reader, which doesn't allow editing of PDFs. I, on the other hand, actually have Adobe Acrobat, so I can edit PDFs, which is great for the essays submitted as PDFs by a few students--probably because they were working in Google Docs).

This whole electronic pedagogy thing is kinda fun, I have to admit. I'll be interested to see if marking is any easier, goes any faster, when I do it on the computer instead of by hand.

Of course, as I'm writing this post, I keep interrupting myself: "Oh, I need to remember to send Cathy the comments on her application." "Oh, I need to remember to send myself the most up-to-date grading rubrics." "Oh, I need to remember to leave myself a note about the Human Resources file, which means I need to look up their extension."

"Oh, I need to remember that I have to water the plants before I leave."

On which note, I will wrap up for today. I may post over the weekend, depending on what comes up as I'm marking assignments. Or I may not. I just love keeping my faithful readers in suspense: will she or won't she? Only time will tell.

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