16 January 2009

Semester Three

I don't even know where to begin other than to say that I have one week of this semester in the bag. I think that I may have bitten off more than I can chew. For me even to admit that, is a big step. At this time last month my teaching load had dropped from 2 courses to 1 so I was kind of scrambling to find a little work to act as a filler. I have one position on campus that I work 20 hours at, and 10 hour graduate assistantship. I only registered for 6 credits, so I was waffling between added another 3 credits or just taking it a little easy with the one course.

I mentioned the cancellation of this course to one of my supervisors, who then and there offered me a great opportunity to become an online course developer. I would work with a faculty member on campus, take their existing face-to-face course and make it 100% online with the help of all of the university's resources at my disposal. Great! I'll do it. I watched them do this last year with 6 courses and it looked like a great opportunity. On top of all of this, I could work on a course that I have a good comprehension of, Western Civ. Things are really looking up. On top of this, the course developer position pay is more than the pay for the course that got dropped from my teaching load. Great, I will be ahead of the monetary game this semester.

So then last Friday rolls around, and my supervisor for the course development comes to me and offers me a second course to develop. Sweet! And it is another history course, though this time not in an area I am familiar with, Africa, but one that looks to be very interesting. At this point all I can see is dollar signs flashing and a few bills that I have showing a $0 balance. Things really seem to be looking up for me.

So I go into the weekend happy, but a little busy, trying to finish prepping as much as I can for the class that I am teaching. I also wanted to give the house a thorough cleaning and take down the Christmas decorations. The domestic goddess in me goes on hiatus when the semester starts and won't return for a few months. On Saturday morning, as I am taking lights off the tree, I get a phone call from the college that I teach at. It is the Dean of Faculty. He tells me that the section I had dropped was reopened the night before due to enrollment being too large in another section. How would you like to have this course back on you teaching assignment? Silly me, thinking only about the money that I would be making, said yes. Now, I would be teaching a course that I just finished teaching two sections of last semester. I can very easily prep for the course. But it does require me to do all of the grading.

So now I am taking 6 credits, teaching 6 credits, developing 6 credits, working 10 hours a week as a graduate assistant, and 20 hours a week in IT. This really isn't too different from last semester, but it just feels overwhelming. This on top of the idea that in both of my classes I am the only doc student, so the professor for each has assigned me an extra paper. I expected that, but it still doesn't help matters. On the bright side, this semester I only have one faculty member that I am working for as a graduate assistant.

06 January 2009

Say It Isn't So...

So, back to reality. After two weeks of doing nothing related to my own academic career other than dealing with all of those loose pieces of paper floating in folders and my saddle bag (my backpack), it is time to get back into school mode. Unfortunately this is not something that I can be eased back into. I have back to back meetings basically for the rest of this week while I also need to prepare the course that I am teaching this spring. I have never taught the course before and over the break two of the four books were changed out. Unfortunately they dropped Maus, which I love teaching. It was replaced by another graphic novel that I enjoy, Persepolis, but I have not taught that one before. So here I am, less than a week away from the start of the semester and I am trying to throw together a course calendar. The other works that we will be tackling are Night, An Ordinary Man, and a few Greek tragedies that I haven't read since high school. If you have any insights, they are welcome. Needless to say, teaching this course will make this an interesting semester. My own classes also start next week as well. I am looking forward to having two faculty members that I have not had in years. I have one education course and one history course, hopefully allowing me to have more of a balance in my mental paradigms.

Again my love of PhD Comics cannot be captured in mere words, but below I have a comic that sums up yesterday: