I think--I hope--I have the syllabus for the 101s finally worked out and finalized. Yesterday I reconfigured when the assignments fall, which was made easier by the realization that I really didn't want to use one of the readings I'd assigned for the first essay. Ditching that made it more feasible to tighten up the first few weeks--and after that, getting the essays to fall on Wednesdays and having room for conference weeks turned out to be remarkably easy. I printed the revised thing out last night, and first thing today, I went through it, fixing mistakes, adding a few readings (too good to pass up), clarifying things (well, clearer to me; I have no idea how students will feel about it).
The result is 22 pages long. Holy fucking god. But it includes everything possible to defend me against grade grievance--which, viewed from a more positive light, means it includes everything students could possibly want or need to know about what is expected of them. (By way of contrast, the SF syllabus is 16 pages long--but I don't have to deal with discussion boards or other assignment wrinkles with that class.)
Twenty-two pages. I wonder how many students will flee the class just getting that syllabus.
I'm now going through the assignment schedule, one day at a time, to make sure I have the handouts needed and that I'm happy with them the way I have them. It did take me a while today to do the math on the points for various assignments. Since I ditched the "preliminary" essay assignment I did last time I taught the class (opting for conferences instead), I had to spread out 300 points across everything else--and I didn't want the essays to count for quite so much of the total. But I think the points values are appropriate for each assignment, which is the main thing: low stakes versus high stakes--and recognizing, for instance, that the students won't put as much time/energy into the editing step as they probably should, so that won't be worth as many points as last time.
As I gradually get all this under control, I hope my sleep improves. I had another bout of insomnia last night, though it was not as fierce as the night before. I'm calling a halt to the work relatively early this evening largely because my mental abilities are rapidly shutting down (hitting those walls), but also because 1. I want to wind down earlier than I have been, in hopes of a better night of sleep, and 2. I want to put in some time on the fiddle. My lesson is being moved up to Thursday, so I need to get in as much practice as possible before then.
Which is what I'm about to do, actually: practice some music. I hope I can get a good amount of work done both before and after my doctor's appointment tomorrow. I should have scheduled it for later in the day (or earlier), instead of at 1, but ah well. Tomorrow will take care of itself. The only thing I need to do now is get off the computer, move all my stacks of paper so I can get into my closet and into my bed (when it's time), and embark upon my evening--tomorrow being another day, and all that.