1st, a Quick Note to the Tribbilites of the blogosphere: I've been pretty quiet this week because almost all of my experiences have been with my new colleagues. I've decided that in the interest of diplomacy and collegiality I'm not going to write about those experiences. Not because they are bad or because I don't want to get into trouble -- they're not and I don't, but that is neither here nor there. But really because I've decided to adopt a "do onto others" policy over here at Pretty Hard, Dammit and I think it would freak me out a bit to know that one of my colleagues was secretly writing about me on their blogs. (At least Spousal Unit knows that I'm publicly complaining about him.) So, that policy stated and out of the way, I can share a bit of the other stuff that is going on with me.

The most excitement I had this week was coming home late last night when I almost beaned a baby deer on its sweet little hiney at 60 mph with my ferocious Subaru. I was rounding a curve, there was another car coming at me, and suddenly there were two does in my line of sight. I slammed on the brakes, the ABS kicked on, and I came screeching to a stop just barely in time to see the bitty butt of the second deer clear the corner of my left bumper. I then pulled over and sat there shaking like a leaf for a few minutes as the adrenalin worked its way through my system. It was a very near miss. I am now so much more glad than I could possibly tell you that I had opted for club soda rather than a nice glass of wine at the new faculty happy hour. One second's delay in my reflexes and baby Bambi would have been a major glitch on my third day of full-time commuting. I've already obliterated a robin, so I've done my part for un-natural selection this month, thank you very much. (Although, I've developed a secret theory that birds don't actually get hit by cars, they just teleport away leaving behind a profusion of feathers -- I mean, you look back, you look for the critter's mortal remains and there are absolutely none -- just a kind of feather explosion that is insubstantial and couldn't possibly add up to a whole bird if you gathered them up and stuck them back together. Which you wouldn't want do because it would be gross. But, the few feathers that are there are what the bird leaves behind when it teleports away. They have to shoot off a few feathers when they teleport to make it look good for the viewers. Like that bird that got "hit" by the baseball that they like to play on ESPN when basketball football golf frisbee beach volleyball competitive eating and noodling are all in the off-season. I mean, where did the bird go? There were lots of feathers, but as far as I could see no bird. And, yes, I hear what you are muttering to yourselves but, I'll have you know that this theory is not just a coping mechanism for my recent bird-related automobile tragedy. It is a Real Scientific Theory. Just don't mention it to Spousal Unit ... he'd be quite embarrassed that any wife of his would come up with such nonsense and try to claim that it was Science.)

Other than commuting encounters with wildlife, things are going ok. I've been having a lot of trouble getting scanners to talk to the PowerBook, but I think it is ultimately resolvable if I throw a whole lot of money at the problem. Thanks to HistGrad for the suggestion that I should get the library to do the scanning for me. I could have, but it involves being prepared ahead of time. Which I'm not. I could probably still do it, but it will take a while because they have to do copyright infringement research and royalties payment. Since the students need the readings by Wednesday and because I didn't get around to dealing with this until now, I'm in a stew of my own making and wouldn't want to foist this mess off onto some poor librarian. I'd really hate to start off my relationship with the nice library folk in a sweating rage and panic because my readings aren't ready when I need them due to my own incompetence when it would be so tempting to blame instead their need to be legally correct. Anyway, as usual, Spousal Unit saved the day. Believe it or not, the Big Science Thingey has really expensive and fancy scanners that did what I needed them to do in about 10 minutes. Imagine that, a major research institution with a nationally known research program has the latest technology. Who'da thunk it? So now I can dodge the nice legal issues and just throw the home-scanned documents up onto the course website.

Anyway, I start teaching in two days. I'm a lot calmer than I should be, I think. Although the syllabus has been finalized, the readings are actually scanned in and on the web, and I have a vague idea of what I want to do on the first day. So maybe I'm about as calm as I should be. I still need to sit down and write the plan for the first day all out, and write out my opening speech, etc. But, I kind of feel like got it all together, really. I think I'm going to be ok.

Except for that part where I have to do it all over again on Wednesday.


At 6:21 PM suz said...

Wow--- I thought you had a week or two more. No wonder you have been pressed to get the course organized -- which you have done! Where did summer go? Sounds like your feet are on the ground and ready to dance with your students.

Deers on the road! I thought that was the night driver's biggest concern until I spun around a corner in the state park outside of Sante Fe about midnight and found my Civic surrounded by a flock/pack/gaggle??? of elk. Damn they are big. I was looking at their kneecaps (slight exaggeration.) I drove through them by sheer luck or maybe there is patron saint of animals who like to roam in the highway?

I buy your bird theory. Maybe there is no such thing as birds. They ARE only feathers and sound and motion?

The best of luck for Monday but your faithful readers are sure that you need no luck. Enjoy the day and remember it as a first of many good days of teaching to come.

At 1:33 AM Overread said...

You, my dear, are a riot and a joy to read.


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