Well, I didn't make it to the library today. But, I did get some work done for next week. I've read two articles that I've assigned in the women's history class (which has been the one I've given the least attention to) and did some computer work on the class website. It wasn't much, but it was something. And, I surfed the net, and watched and episode of my newest guilty pleasure-- Desperate Housewives downloaded from iTunes. It's embarrassing to like, but there's something great about watching the embedded mockery of the Republican vision of American women's perfect lives. (Whether or not it may also reinscribe and justify that vision... I haven't yet decided.) But, I Desperately needed some down time today.
This past week almost killed me -- I came seriously close to a meltdown in the car on the way to work on Wednesday. I managed to hold it together and get through the week. So, all in all, I think a day to just do little was a good thing. Plus, added bonus: I've been at the Big Science Thingey all day with Spousal Unit. He's off doing sciencey type stuff, so I could sit in his cubicle and therefore not notice how filthy the house is.
I need to figure out how to get a handle on this 3 class teaching thing. I can't seem to do everything that I need to do. I don't know what it is, but I'm scrambling around at the last minute for every class session. I can't get ahead of it, somehow.
And, I can tell that one of the classes isn't quite yet WITH me. There comes a moment, I think, in each class experience where you win them. They start off skeptical, and then one day, you do the right backflip, or you say the right interesting thing, or you make them laugh, and then bam -- they're yours. It just hasn't happened yet with this 100 level class this semester. And, I strongly suspect that it is because I'm rushing around to prep everything at the last minute and feeling overwhelmed and behind at all times.
So, that's my weekly report. Not much dissertation/conference paper work, but a slightly saner Stewgad than when today started.
- At 7:15 PM What Now? said...
If it helps, I spent my entire first year in my job (on a 3/4 load) frantically preparing classes at the last minute and not feeling that I was making any progress. I think that the major accomplishment of the first year is surviving.
Now, I know that you have the added strain of not having finished the dissertation, which must add serious strain, but it sounds like you have a good Saturday-mornings commitment to the diss. worked out now, and this summer is when you can finish up the diss. once you've survived the academic year.
- At 12:50 PM verdade said...
Love you Stewgad!
- At 4:16 PM New Kid on the Hallway said...
I totally agree with What Now?. I was going to say, it DOES get better - you get a stable of preps under your belt, and really can get through the teaching much more easily. You'll survive it and do great!
- At 8:05 PM Scrivener said...
Yep. What Now? speaks the truth. I spent my first two years scrambling, because my first year teaching I had a 2/2 load, with 2 preps that were entirely new to me. My second year I had a 5/5 load and was always swamped. I spent pretty much all day Saturday and Sunday every week in the law library with my wife, with her studying and me grading and reading. But now teaching is way, way easier.
- At 8:44 AM grumpyABDadjunct said...
I can confirm the above, prep once teach it with minor revisions for years! Not that I can do this in one of my courses, when you teach about info tech things change so fast you can't always recycle material from year to year.
I'm not sure what your class sizes or configurations are like but try and work in some group work, it is easier to prep for than lecturing and helps to generate discussion. You might also opt to do some peer-review grading to take some of the heat off in terms of how much you have to grade. And I hope you aren't making too many comments when you grade, especially on the short papers, students don't read them anyway.