I'm at the end of the first week of Fall semester. It's been quite an adjustment, especially coming from the hedonistic no schedule days of summer.
First off? I now know what day of the week it is...without thinking! While those who've been doing the standard 9 to 5 might not find this extraordinary, those of us lucky enough to get the full summer off realize that, when you remove someone from all deadlines, time becomes very fluid. In the summer, I never had a clue what day it was...or for that matter, what week or month it was.
I am also getting used to being an authority figure again. I've got to exercise my booming "teacher" voice. I've had to keep people's attention for over two hours. I've had to funnel cacaphonous conversation back toward whatever point I was trying to make. I've had to do the hardass "if you don't like working, drop the class" bit (which I am good at, although I am nowhere near my old History prof. Dr. Prousis in this regard).
I'm doing two comp ones and two comp one with workshops. All the students seem pretty good...they're not afraid to talk, which is always a plus. I'd much rather put up with students who can't shut up or are prone to open rebellion than deal with a silent group. So their conversational prowess bodes well.
I actually get my hands on technology in the classroom. After three years of teaching in tech-free dives, I have two classes in computer-mediated classrooms and one class in a brand-new refinished building (which comes with an instructor computer and projector). I am using powerpoint for the first time ever. I already have a pile of grading sitting in my inbox.
The most important thing, however, is that I am back to discipline. Ever summer, I have grandiose visions of doing tons of writing, but it always falls through...I need a schedule, and having to be in the office x number of hours a week tends to focus me a little bit...that, plus being away from the TiVo. So, now I am sure I will do some writing. I'm already doing conference prep. I also have plans to return e-mails to the 6 or 7 people to whom I owe. Plus, I have papers coming in next week...so expect more posts to this blog, as I seem to use it as a grading break.
Post #200, by the way...thanks for reading.