Thursday, August 14, 2008

Fall-ing Again

Well, it is rounding on end of summer time hereabouts. A week and a few days til school starts. I'm teaching three classes of mostly first-time fresh-folks. (I know, gender neutral seems weird but that's a good way to say it I think). I am OCD about doing my syllabus really really early, and I do a very detailed syllabus with every day's lesson plan in advance. This way, I don't have to plan that much during the semester. I know exactly what I'm doing each day. And I do update the syllabus every semester, removing things that didn't work, or that I am just tired of. And I'm still trying to tweak it for perfection of "low grading, high feedback" for the students. Still haven't figured that out. I spend way too much time grading.

Anyway. So yesterday I finish up my syllabuses and then I find out that the campus bookstore had ordered the wrong anthology for one of my classes! Argh!! Then, I find out that the book for the other classes, which I haven't taught since last Fall, has updated with a new edition. Argggh Again!! That means I have to go update my syllabus with the changes. They always take out a few readings in the new editions to justify charging 80 bucks for a textbook, which students can't get used when it's a new ed. And I think about three of my essays are gone. SO IRRITATING. If I weren't compulsive and put off the syllabus making til the last minute, I wouldn't have to re-do. But I am paranoid that if I don't do it early, something will come up (an illness on my part, or the kiddos) and I won't have time to spend the hours I spend tweaking the darn things. So I get sort of self-punished by doing the work early. Ah well. It's not ditch digging, after all is said and done.

I made a cool sign for my office hours on my door, using this graphic. I like having something new each semester, something that fits my mood. And my door has several cute comics (mostly Calvin & Hobbes) and I try to be "that interesting teacher". I think it generally works.

Now to go re-do my syllabus. Pfffhhht! Darn publishers.