20 November 2008

Personal, Sort of...

I have been getting help over the past few months for some health issues, and though they are not following my timeline for how things should go, I am finding the whole process very interesting. The most interesting part was attending the support group meeting last night. This is where this blog comes in. How do I explain what I do for a living without sounding like a pretentious a**hole, or like a workaholic? I mean it is easy to say that I teach college and I am a doc student. When I use the term "instructor" so many assumptions are made. My other position is a little more complicated to explain to anyone, much less non-academics. When I tell people that I am working on my research they think that I spend all of my time in a laboratory, not the reading room of an archive. When I start talking about what I do to correct the assumptions, I get that eyes glazed over look of sheer boredom. How can I find a happy medium? Should I just go back to saying that I am a teacher and not answer any other questions? I guess that my life will be a little easier when I can say professor.

17 November 2008

What??? Are you Sure?

I have been procrastinating all semester, more than usual. I have just come to the realization that there are 3 weeks left in this semester. 3! That's t-h-r-e-e. I have a 25 page paper due on December 11, that has to be presented and defended on December 4th that doesn't even have the scribbled outline started. I also have a 10 page research paper due on December 3rd, which I haven't even begun to explore, and a take home final that will be due December 12th. This is on top of all of the work that I have to grade for the courses that I am teaching this semester. Damnit, when did this semester slip away from me?

12 November 2008

I have found the hardest thing to do this semester is to stay to my "assigned hours" and get the work done that is expected of me. Granted part of my distraction is the very nice, pretty, shinny new 50" LCD TV the hubby and I bought, but I really am just physically and mentally exhausted when I get home most evenings. Allowing me an hour or two an evening to cram in what is stored on my DVR is not a crime, but I can't seem to get everything done in the time frame that is set forth by the professors that I work with. It is not like I am in trouble, but it is like that disappointed look that parents give their children that cuts right through to your self esteem. This makes me hate my pretty new TV, just a little. One good thing is that most of the shows that I do watch have either, a) been cancelled, so I have less TV to watch, b) sucked so bad that I have given up on them, (yes that is you Heroes that I am talking about) or c) are not on currently. If only TV would keep sucking during the school year.

06 November 2008

Election Hangover and More

I, like most of the nation was glued to the TV on Tuesday, waiting for the results of the election. Now for those of you that know me, I made it all the way through the President-Elect's speech without a nap. The husband even faded before I did. Now what goes without saying is that I was unable to get any work done whatsoever. I was so glued to CNN and Comedy Central that I could not grade the now over 100 papers/assignments from my students. I just couldn't pull myself away from the couch to sit at the kitchen table. I needed to know what was going on.

Now that this is over, it feels like a hangover. For those of you who are married, it feels like those first few days after your wedding. You have spent all of the mental and emotional time and effort, and now that it is over, what do you do with your time. Now most would think that I turned this time over to my research/homework/grading papers. You would be wrong. I ironed and did laundry. I know, it is sad, but it was the first thing that caught my attention when I got home from my office yesterday.

I did spend about 5 hours at the historical society on Tuesday, doing research for my cooperating professor. I am looking into how the school board of Milwaukee shifted in its make-up during the course of the 20th Century. I have been mostly hunting through the reports from the school board from 1906-08. It is very interesting to see the numbers that I have found in these books that will help my research for Girls' Tech. I have found that they were concerned about class size. The numbers from the 1906/7 school year speak for themselves:

Teacher to Student Ratios Based on Enrollment Numbers:
  • Overall: 47.1
  • High School: 28.5
  • Grammar and Primary: 51.25
  • Kindergarten: 66.77

Teacher to Student Ratios Based on the Average Attendance Numbers:

  • Overall: 33.95
  • High School: 23.0
  • Grammar (Grades 5-8):37.81
  • Primary: 45.21
  • Kindergarten: 33.30

Could you even imagine a first grade classroom with 46 students? Now the only reason that the high school ratio is so low is that the law only mandated a child finish 8th grade or grammar school.