Monday, November 8, 2010

A Week in the Life: Monday

4:15 am: Wake up with Hubby's alarm for his meeting in B___ today. He has to leave by 5:00 am to make a 7:30 am production meeting.

5:00 am: Go back to sleep for an hour. Bliss. Except for weird dreams involving my children, a hike from the Summit County Fairgrounds with my two small children to the house of an old boyfriend from high school, his wife, their friends, and a ride in a convertible BMW down some "mean streets" lined with bikers bearing futuristic-looking shotguns.

6:00 am: Alarm goes off. Time to get the kids moving toward breakfast, followed by Sesame Street so that I can get dressed and drink my coffee.

7:45 am: Leave the house.

8:15 am: Drop off Thing One at her elementary school.

8:25 am: Drop off Thing Two at his daycare center.

8:30 am: Arrive on campus. Eat 3 strawberry frosted mini-wheats and two chocolate chip cookies. Final prep and printing copies of discussion questions for today's ENG 262 (American Literature before 1865) class on the first chapter of Walden

9:00 am - 10:15 am: Good class on Walden. Students are prepared, and work in groups for 20 minutes before coming back out to have discussion on "Economy."

10:20-10:30 am: Meet with student who is currently failing the course about how he can pull his grade up. Tell him he will need to average a B on the rest of the assigments for the semester to shave a 74% C. Tell him he will need to get as much extra help as he can, from me or from a writing tutor. Tell him that I'm here to help him. He smiles and seems willing to do it. Hopefully he will. I like to reward hard work.

10:30-10:35 am: Update listing for three poems submitted to Blast Furnace. Received acknowledgment of submission on Friday, and will be notified in the coming weeks as to whether or not any of them will be accepted.

10:40-10:55 am: Begin this blog entry.

11:00-11:30 am: Talk to colleague about possible classes/direction for the classes

11:30-11:45 am: Prep for meeting for which I am the convening chair.

11:45-11:55 am: Zone out on Facebook.

12:00-12:55 pm: Chair meeting. Productive discussion.

1:00-2:15 pm: ENG 101 (Composition 1) class discussion of excerpt from An Inconvenient Truth (from textbook section on Nature) and excerpt from A Sand County Almanac (a handout I'd given them on the last section on the book regarding reasons for wilderness conservation and land use ethics). Sluggish start which got better after I warned them that I wasn't going to drag them backwards by the hair through the material, which I know they've read because they had to write about it on our course website--and all but five did. Maybe I was a bit cranky with them because I'm tired (poor sleep on top of waking up at 4 am will do that). But they shook themselves out of their torpor, and we had a great class. Assigned their next paper, which will have them working with one pair of the unit's readings (on food, garbage, or the environment) to explain what's going on to their friends.

2:15-2:30 pm: Chat with Hubby, who's finally on his way back from his meeting. It went well. Yay.

2:30-2:45 pm: Meet with ENG 102 student about her paper (due Thursday).

2:45-3:00 pm: Update this blog.

3:00-4:00 pm: Grade ENG 102 papers.

4:15-5:00 pm: Go to Culvers. Wolf down cheeseburger and fries at desk while reading papers. Keep grease spots to a minimum. Hooray!

5:10pm: Walk across campus to the Art building for observation.

5:30-6:45 pm: Observation of adjunct faculty member's ENG 101 class (one of my duties as campus department chair is to make sure that the people we hire can actually teach). Good thing my netbook is charged and ready because I can type faster than I can hand-write. Three single-spaced pages later, I'm glad I got to do the observation. Great class, and I may have to steal one or two of his ideas.Things like this make me love my job.

6:45-7:15 pm: Chat with adjunct faculty member about his class, and teaching, and movies, and Joss Whedon, and network vs. premium television programming. Good times.

7:20 pm: Update this blog post again.

7:30 pm: Head home. Happy that I get to hear "Exploring Music" with Bill McLaughlin via Wisconsin Public Radio.Not sure who or what we're exploring, as the program's half over at this point, but I always learn something when I listen.

7:42 pm: Pass dairy farmer driving tractor with manure spreader (empty, thankfully) back to his barn. Perspective: At least I'm not him. And thank heaven there are people like him willing to work like that so that I can have milk and cheese. And cheeseburgers not unlike the one I had 3 hours ago.

7:43 pm: Get the crap scared out of me by what I'm assuming is an early composition by Aaron Copland: seriously, this is not music to drive down a dark country highway. I actually jumped and half expected to see a deer bounding in time to the timpani right before I hit it. Luckily, no deer, but sheesh...

7:44 pm: Heart rate almost back to normal. Pass another dairy farmer on a tractor. This guy's been up since the crack of dawn too, and worked a lot harder (physically) than I have today. That's part of what I'm trying to get a handle on: how a life of the mind is almost every bit as tiring as working physically all day. After 20 papers, my brain is mush and the rest of me feels goopy too. I've had both kinds of jobs. The main difference I can see so far is that after a day of working outside in 15 degree-weather, I slept like the dead; not so with this job. Brain seems to want to keep working long after Body has given it up as a bad job.

7:55 pm: Music was Symphony for Organ and Orchestra, composed when Copland was 23. Didn't really like it all that much, but it does have the early signs of what I think of as the "cinematic" quality of his later work. Turns out this week on "Exploring Music" we're exploring Aaron Copland. Huh.

8:00 pm: Arrive home. Make cup of tea. Must grade at least 5 more papers tonight, leaving 5 for tomorrow (I have to give them back tomorrow: I promised my students on Thursday that I'd have them done by the next class meeting, and I just couldn't finish the last 10 yesterday--Sunday, after grading 20 on Saturday--so I've got to get them done now). Hubby and both Things are out cold. *sigh* At least I get to grade in my jammies, surrounded by cats. Grading also made easier by new rubric (which still needs tweaking).

9:00 pm: Final update of blog. Can't grade anymore--eyes are scratchy. Might have something to do with poor sleep last night and early start to the day. Sleep beckons. I picture her as a dark-haired woman with a white streak at her temple wearing midnight (haha) blue silk robes. She has kind eyes.

'Night all.

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