I'd meant to be finished with everything (including fiddle practice) by now, but I got side-tracked. I was checking several things online, including work emails, and there was a lovely P.S. from a colleague, praising the whole group of us who run the major functions of the department (Cathy, Bob--soon to be replaced by Paul, Brian--who heads Placement--and the summer Placement coordinator Johanna), and in a sort of "aw, shucks" response, I was moved to quote the Pogo cartoon strip character Bun Rab, who is awfully proud of his job carrying the hose...
That pretty well sums up my job. Notice that Bun Rab doesn't actually put out the fire; he just wants everyone to notice that he does, in fact, carry the hose. Bun Rab, c'est moi.
Despite the distraction, however, and the fact that I didn't get started until much later than I'd hoped, I managed to make genuine forward progress. Part of why I was so easily distracted by the urge to find the particular book of Pogo cartoons in my lovely collection (thanks, Sam Sandoe) is I had started to bog down in the organizational streams of making sure I have all the bits and orts for each step of the process from first handouts to final, that they're all up to date, have a minimum of howling errors, and are saved as PDFs, for easier access by my students online. But I think I'm in pretty good shape with the 101s now. Having that assignment schedule finally nailed down makes everything else infinitely easier.
However, I did discover that there is a boo-boo in the official academic calendar. Tuesday/Thursday classes meet 30 times, as they should, but Monday/Wednesday classes meet 31 times. (I didn't look to find out if classes that "break the grid" meet the requisite number of times because I'm not teaching any of those, so I don't really care.) Of course, it's possible I misread the calendar, but I checked it four times, and I swear I'm not missing a "Wednesday is a Tuesday" or a "Classes will not meet" thing. I see some of that going on with evening classes, but not day. I've mentioned it to P&B, but if I have to tear those schedules apart again...
Well, that's a worry for another time.
I also feel a slight lessening of pressure and panic because the friend I was going to go to the beach with tomorrow ended up having to work--so I have the day with no other commitments in which I can grind away, making (please heaven) further progress. Maybe I can even really have the classes for fall completely nailed down (except, of course, for the changes I will make on the fly, which always happen) and can then turn my attention to the online Nature in Lit. I also realized that the entire week after contract signing, classes won't have started yet, so I'll have all that time to work as well. The schedule is weird because Sept. 1 is a Friday, so that's when the semester starts--but because classes start that week, adjunct contracts are officially due the week before. Of course, we'll still be changing contracts all the way through that week, but I don't think I'll have to be on quite the same high alert as I'll need to be next week and the following.
But it's now well after 8 p.m., and if I'm going to get a decent night's sleep tonight, I can't keep noodling around on the computer--or practice fiddle. I feel a trifle guilty about that, but maybe I'll manage to practice twice tomorrow, or put in one much longer practice.
For now, I'm wrapping up the work day and putting a big bow on it. And I'll continue to carry the hose.