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Monday, June 26, 2017

Anxiety attack #8,743 (in the last week or so)

I will fully confess that if I don't have a "legitimate" reason to be anxious, I'll certainly manufacture something--I think I'm addicted to the adrenaline jolts--and I also fully confess that there are times when I have no clue whether the reason for the anxiety is even close to "legitimate."

For instance, I do know that many of the things I'm worrying about taking care of before I leave town are extremely minor little blips and absolutely nothing to worry about one way or another--but I feel little jolts of anxiety about them anyway. And I do know that I tend to get anxious about work stuff that somehow, magically, always ends up being OK, usually without a great deal of sweat and heavy lifting on my part.

Nevertheless, the fact that Cathy and I spent from about 11 a.m. until about 5:45 working on fall adjunct schedules--and that we still have a number of unassigned sections with no adjuncts available to give them to--is causing me some anxiety. (Cathy and I also looked at each other with slightly wild eyes when she reminded us that she's "hidden" 36 sections, in order to chase students into the ones that are visible--and as we tried to imagine what today would have been like if we'd had to try to staff those additional sections, in addition to what we failed to assign.)

I know I will leave that anxiety behind me when I leave town, but it will be here, waiting for me--larger, hairier, and with bigger teeth--when I return. But after all the maneuvering she and I did today, we both felt pretty incapable of making any further progress--even if we'd had a larger pool of adjuncts available for courses.

So, what will happen is, on my return in July, I'll sit down and start looking at courses that are under-enrolled, courses we can consolidate, or cancel--or for which we must find a qualified instructor. Cathy will be out of town, but she'll be looking at enrollment numbers too, and we'll certainly be in touch electronically. We'll have a slightly better sense of what the realities are in terms of which classes will fill and which will not by then, though of course that target keeps moving all the way through the beginning of classes.

Then there's the anxiety over the fact that, since I spent so much time working with Cathy today, I didn't get any of my own work done--and although I have a bit of time in which I could work, it isn't really enough to get going. In fact, it's just enough that I can look at the various printouts and files I have and think, "I have no idea where I left off, what I have, or what's going on anywhere." Which is, naturally, cause for further anxiety.


I have put one file folder of recent printouts and scribblings in one of the bags I will take home with me; I will pack the folder and its contents and schlep it along with me. Whether I do anything with it is an open question, but at least I'll have it with me. And at some point, in July or early August, I will have to try to get the files on both home computer and laptop to line up so I have the same versions of the same things organized in the same ways on both devices. I'm sure there are much easier ways to ensure that that is the case, but I find that every USB drive I use responds slightly differently when I copy stuff from one place to the next--and none of them seem to have a setting that allows me to say, "copy only the most recent files onto this computer from this USB--and if you find a newer version of something on the computer, copy the other direction, from the computer to the USB." My less technologically challenged friends and relations almost certainly know some speedy and magical way to accomplish exactly that--but I don't know what it is, and without having one of them here in the office with me and with my laptop and with the USB drive, all at once, I don't quite know how I'll learn anything other than the rather convoluted methods I currently use.

I did, however, just remember that--when I post articles for the 101s on Blackboard--uploading a PDF is not the only option: I can also create a web link to the "persistent link" on the Library's database for an article. Duh. So, sometimes, I have a little tech know-how--and simply forget it for a while.

(And that makes me realize I never heard back from my online course construction mentor on my question about setting up online grading. Well, I'm sure once I'm back in town, I'll have a moment when I think, "Oh, right: I want to know how to do that; let me get in touch with Adam." So I don't need to leave myself a note--or experience any anxiety over it.)

All that said, however, it is now time for me to toddle off to physical therapy--and thence on to the domino chain of trip preparations stuff. (And yep, right on cue: anxiety jolt.)

Ah, it's all good. Whatever. Hakuna matata. (I can't believe I just quoted The Lion King....)

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