Sunday, August 24, 2008

Last Day Of Freedom

I know, that's a little melodramatic. Tomorrow, the fall semester starts & I'll be teaching again. 3 days a week, 3 classes on those days. Not at all a bad schedule, really. I plan to try to continue working on professional development projects on Tuesdays & Thursdays-- the novel, the scholarly anthology, the dissertation into book. So maybe I CAN do it all. :) Supergirl gets it going strong.

I'm looking forward to getting back to the classroom. As an adjunct, I have never taught over the summer. Those accelerated classes are taught by tenured faculty, for a number of reasons, one of them being there's just not enough of a demand to justify having adjuncts in summertime. But while it's cool getting all that time off, I kind of feel like the kids do-- all this summertime and my brain is mushy. What, exactly, is it I teach again? Luckily, reviewing the syllabuses & textbooks tends to get me back in the swing pretty fast. I'm a little bummed because last Fall I got to teach an American Lit survey course (since we were short the tenure track faculty member who taught that course) but this year I don't have anything other than Comp. Don't get me wrong-- I actually quite like teaching Composition courses.

First year students who take Comp classes are often in their first ever year of college, and in the Fall semester, they're often first time college students coming fresh out of high school. So they're so excited, and they're learning what kind of student they are. That first semester, if I can influence them at all, I feel victorious in the war against the "I don't ever read books" syndrome. And I also get a lot of "I don't like writing" students, and many (not all, no, but enough) of them change their view by the end of the semester. They at least don't hate writing and are much better at it, too.

Anyway. Academics are funny, because we really do cycle on this semester-to-semester schedule of life. Everything is renewed and often we see this as a chance to renew ourselves. Hence the haircut & trip to my favorite little shop for new clothes. It's a new start, and even though it means fewer days lying on my couch reading smutty vampire novels, I am very happy with the new work. It's fun to be useless for about a month, but after that I need to do something with my brain. So here goes: brain, re-engage.


slyboots2 said...

Oh hey, good luck with all that! Hope it is tons of fun- I always enjoyed the start of the semester- from both sides, student and teacher.