Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Another good thing/bad thing list?
Sure, why not.
1. The campus is pleasant but I don't know where anything is.
2. The admin staff knows much but seems reluctant to share what they know with me.
3. There was a lot of orientation. None of it orientated me toward where the printer is.
4. I have a new computer. It's not ready yet--still needs to be tagged as "property of."
5. We're starting the new MFA program. We're starting a new summer conference.
6. There's a union with many food choices including sushi. They take only dining cards.
7. The school is located right downtown and I can walk to other fooderies but I haven't gotten paid yet so I may as well be taking a dining card to the downtown restaurants since that would be as effective as my debit card.
8. I am on two committees. I am on two committees.
9. I teach in the late afternoon/evenings. I teach in the late afternoon/evenings.
10. I unpacked all my books, bought with my no money (read AmEx) two plants, and opened my two lovely windows. There's construction out those windows.
11. I taught my first class. I have two more to go and the first week is very hard for me. I hate the syllabus spiel.

In other, less binary news, I love my colleagues. They're pretty mellow, pretty funny and, in the advising center, I advised a student well with my advising coach looking on and I got all accolades. Was even called a whiz kid. I like positive reinforcement. A lot. The chair took some of my ideas to the Dean and he loved them. Yay. Now we're looking for a name for our new program to brand it a little. I'm sure it will be hokey but I love hokey as much as I like anything else (which includes not much so I shouldn't complain either way as to my likings).
In my first class, the laptop cord was broken, only I didn't know that so I kept trying to get my laptop to put up the cool stuff on the screen. I looked like an idiot. Today, I found out the cord was broken. I hope everyone who taught in that room looked like an idiot so I'm not alone in idiocy but this isn't that techy of a department.
The first week has already been brutal and I'm only at the halfway point. Advising, committees, 400 emails, and a general lack of knowing where anything is or how any thing works is draining. An example of the the how-anything-works-lack-of-knowledge: the rooms have codes. I arrive at my first class, and my first grad class ever, carrying 18 Writers Chronicles, two books, one laptop (unusefully), 18 syllabi, a camera and my purse. I arrive. The students are waiting outside. I'm told by the students that I'll need a code. A code? It's 4:30. The English Dept. office closes at 4:30. I run down three flights of stairs. The AA is still there. She looks surprised that I didn't know that I needed the code. She practically shakes her head in disapproval at me as she gives me the code. Perhaps there was yet another orientation I missed? The how-things-work-around-here one? You know, the truly useful one.
But, back to list of good and bad: most faculty offices are in the same building as the classrooms! But the classrooms have codes and I still need 3 more to remember.

If I recall, the first week is always beyond rough. I'm sincerely hoping that next week is less frantic with busywork and more thick with content.


Lisa B. said...

Wow, the classrooms have codes. That sounds eerie and ominous, if you think about it for very long. And, like, somehow, you were supposed to know this. Oh the ignominy. Yet, you are surviving. Huzzah for you!

Lisa B. said...

By the way, my word verification was "nauos"--cross between nausea and chaos?

Anonymous said...

The code thing would have made me cry. Bad enough that I forgot my syllabi at home, and then only printed enough for half the class when I finally got them...sigh.

I also mostly ignore my syllabus -- I spend at most ten minutes hitting the high points (days we don't have class, things are due on the date, what gets graded how much) and then dive into teaching. Much more satisfying for me, and I think fun for them. Of course, some folks miss that because of registration confusion, but I can't bring myself to waste a class just because of that.

Hang in there...

What Now? said...

The classrooms have codes? I guess that's better than needing a lot of keys, but still -- why lock them during the day anyway?

But it sounds like you're hanging in there through the inevitable chaos of the first week. By next week, you'll be a whiz at the codes as with the advising.

P said...

whiz kid, I'm proud of you. teaching since 1975 :) I love you and hope you all have a fun weekend, jealous as hell.