I came in to campus today to meet with the colleague who put together the Lib Guide for my 102 students--which it turned out I didn't really need to do: I already had seen the work she did, and I'd sent her the essay assignment, so everything is ready to roll for the library classes on Tuesday.
Last night, I realized that I needed to simplify/clarify the essay topics, so I spent some time on that this morning. I'm not sure I was entirely successful (we'll see how the students respond), but I know at least one of them is more readily grasped than what I'd written yesterday. If I had more time to mull it over, I could probably get even more clear and basic, but, well, I don't want to fuss with it any longer. That's one thing I just needed to get checked off the list, even if it's not my best ever attempt. My colleague in the library approved--not so much of the topics, perhaps, but of how completely detailed the information in the assignment sheet is. That's nice to hear. Of course, she is also a word person, unlike our students, so what seems helpful detail to her may be overwhelming detail for the students--but the librarians and tutors in the Writing Center will certainly be able to point to specific portions of the assignment for the students and say, "Look: you need to do this." Sometimes that's the best we can do.
Because I spent some time this morning cleaning up the essay topics and assignment sheet, I didn't get to campus as early as I had hoped, and--to no one's vast surprise--I didn't get as much grading done as I'd hoped, and I didn't work at all on my year-end evaluation, as the grading has to come first (and the deadline for the evaluation thingy is a bit further down the road). I did, however, get other little futzy clean-up stuff done, including making sure all the final essay stuff is on Blackboard and that I have the same documents on both my home and work computers. So, that feels good.
I have to dash off in just a minute here, but I did get into a rather lengthy conversation with our two office administrators about the impact of the new NYS law that students who attend public institutions get free tuition (and that rapidly turned into a discussion of "kids these days," which is where we always seem to go whenever we say anything having anything to do with the students). And that issue--what will happen to community colleges in general and this institution in particular--is something that calls for a blog post of its very own. In brief: I am extremely concerned about what kinds of students we're likely to get here--and how much enrollment will go down. I am grateful that I'm high enough up the seniority ranks that I'm unlikely to lose my job as long as the campus doesn't shut down entirely, but other than that, all bets are off.
But more on that depressing topic anon. For now, it's time to skedaddle.