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intertext: (miss jean brodie)
Monday, November 7th, 2011 06:28 pm
I have awesome students.

This morning, I prepared my class, went downstairs to my 10:30 class at about 10:25, ready to set up some web things. I got to the door, and the whole class was there (all but one or two, itself quite remarkable at this time in the term), lights dimmed, watching the student scheduled for one of the presentations that day _doing_ his presentation. Everyone was listening intently, laughing in all the right places.

It was all a bit "wtf" but I thought, oh, maybe he's been telling them about his play (this is the scriptwriting class) and they wanted to hear it (I know, that doesn't make a lot of sense, but...). Anyway, when he was finished, I walked in, took my place at the computer terminal and started setting up. I looked at them, looked at the clock, and said "I'm not late... ?"

Uh. Yeah. I was. The class started at 10:00. I don't even have the excuse that I was an HOUR late because of the time change. I just got muddled, because all my other classes start on the half hour, and I think I conflated this one with another one later in the week. And this one has a silly schedule that's different on Mondays than it is on Wednesdays. And I'm tired, and a bit depressed, and my brain is fuzzy.

But - HEY YOU GUYS!! They were carrying on the class without me! How cool is THAT! They were engaged, responsible, and participating. Wow.

They could have walked out. And if I'd walked in, 25 minutes late, to find one person there to tell me they'd done that, I think I would have gone and jumped off a bridge. Instead, they give me this gift.

Oh, and we're reading Firefly episode 5, "Out of Gas," and someone in the class was wearing a cunning hat. How cool is that?
intertext: (bujold teach)
Friday, September 7th, 2007 02:16 am
it's been a good week!

And I only slightly exaggerate about the computer labs. I was in for one of my online course orientation sessions on Wednesday night, and two of my colleagues had sessions in the hallway around the corner from mine. I went in early to assist one of them, because we have a new Learning Management System this year (no more WebCt, but that's another story...). Suddenly, half the computers went dead in his class. So I went to find the tech assistant, and we discovered that the same thing had happened to my other colleague's class. There was a strong smell of burning electronics. The tech assistant investigated the circuit breaker panel and found it scorching hot. None of the actual breakers had popped, so it was impossible to tell which of the circuits had failed, and testing them would involve knocking out the existing circuits and all the other working computers.

Meanwhile the original colleague had returned to his lecture and was almost completely oblivious to the crisis. The whole thing was almost farcical.

The techie person assured me that it was safe for them to continue, so we made the executive decision to let them carry on with the remaining half of the computers and then shut the labs down afterwards. His guess was that there'd been a power surge or something that had burnt out one circuit. As there was no smoke and the panel was beginning to cool, we were probably okay. hahaha.

My own orientation was unaffected and went well.

Otherwise, no major crises, and for a first week it was amazingly stress free. Although I've been working all through July and August, I find myself full of enthusiasm and energy for my classes, and I'm also looking forward to working in my 25% secondment to the computer-assisted learning office (DE) (have I mentioned this before in here? can't remember). All three of my courses look good and I have a nice and enthusiastic group of students, including a few "fans" - ones who have followed me from other courses. I have one who I believe will have taken four of my classes over the last couple of terms!

I've been blogging up a storm, and have four - count them - four new blogs set up on WordPress, two for my classes, one to function as a kind of homepage for my students and one called College English, which I want to be a place to display links and things of interest to - you guessed it - college English teachers and students.

It's all good, as they say. Wonder how long this cheerful energy will last?
intertext: (Default)
Saturday, April 14th, 2007 04:53 am
As if I needed it, I have been reminded several times this week that I'm not as young as I once was. This has been a very busy week socially, and now of course I'm too tired to sleep, so it's 5 AM and I'm awake writing in my journal.

So this was my week:

Monday: Easter dinner with kp that had been postponed from Sunday. I made roast lamb and a rather good not-exactly-ratatouille (sp?) with artichokes and zucchini and mushrooms and tomatoes and lots of basil and cheese and breadcrumbs on the top, and roast potatoes with rosemary from the garden. We had a lovely Australian chardonnay with it - a red wine would probably have been better for the foodies, but I can't drink it so white it is. To follow we had fruit and creme fraiche and coffee. It was good.

Tuesday: dinner at Spinnaker's with ad, a colleague and getting-to-be friend from work. This was very pleasant, too. We had an amazing conversation about a lot of things I didn't know about her - she is another quiet introvert at work, but I've always enjoyed her intelligence (anyone writing a PhD dissertation on Harry Potter can't be bad!) and humour. There's a fierceness about her that strikes a chord with me - I trust her integrity.

Wednesday I stayed home, much to the delight of my dogs, and watched an episode of Angel (I've reached the bit where he turns back to Angelus in Season 4, just - they do that long "fake out" episode with everything turning out wonderfully in the battle with the Beast, then at the end it all turns out to be a trance-dream or something and we hear "Angelus" going bwahahaha. quite chilling; can't wait to see more.)

Tursday: pub night at Irish Times with [livejournal.com profile] superfoo and her coterie of Simon and Baz, plus other ex-and current students of mine - Mandeep, Tom, Eli and a girl whose name I'm ashamed to admit I couldn't remember though I know I taught her something once, and Dave whom I'd met before, and of course kelly and some students of hers from her class that is just ending, and last but not least I got to meet [livejournal.com profile] marri, whom I'd heard so much about and whose journal I've read from time to time. I would have recognized her from her likeness to her userpic, which is quite striking. It was very nice to meet her finally (hi, Marri, and welcome, if you should happen to pop in). This was a Good Time - a charming and intelligent group that managed to make me feel welcome in their company without making me feel for an instant old or out of place. I almost danced. Perhaps I will again someday. There was a very good band - they played a well executed cover of Van Morrison's "Into the Mystic" which is on my personal soundtrack and made me feel sorrowful for lost youth and love but never mind. We stayed out well past my bedtime, so I was not in the best of shape for

Friday: department potluck and retirement party for jb, a long standing colleague (though he started AFTER me, which makes me feel old again - though to be honest he'd been teaching for decades at other places before he came to our institution). This was pleasant; the food was good as always and there was some fairly good conversation. Not such a late night, and was home by "bedtime" but now, as I mentioned, I'm overtired and can't sleep.

Term is now officially Over, bar the marking. So from now for the next few weeks it will be marking, marking, marking, and, oh did I mention, marking. I have four classes, all of whom are handing in long analytical essays, journals and an exam - you do the math. (oh well, once it's done and I've delivered my workshop on blogging and wikis and things for the college on May 4th, I'm off to Paris. Yay.)
intertext: (bujold teach)
Tuesday, March 20th, 2007 05:29 pm
The number of "deaths in the family" among my students increases exponentially with the number of assignments due. I had two dead grandparents today. Guess what? There was a paper due. Students come to me and say "I haven't been in class the last couple of weeks because I've had a death in the family" and I say" ... oh yeah?" not in exactly those cynical tones, but almost. I mean. really. If you REALLY had someone desperately dear to you die wouldn't you have let someone know BEFORE the day there was a paper due? And how many dead relatives really require an absence of two weeks?? I know that sometimes there really ARE grannies or aunties or cousins whose deaths are really meaningful. It amazes me that students invent dead relatives as an excuse for a late paper with such thoughtlessness. I mean, doesn't it occur to them that they might be tempting fate?

And a variation on these for me is dead dogs... One student came to me and said that her dog had died so she was having trouble getting work done. Well. This had me nearly in tears. Then, over the next few weeks I had a couple more. Obviously word had gotten around that this one was a sucker for dead dog stories... Honestly, it makes you want to spit, or hit something.
intertext: (Default)
Thursday, December 14th, 2006 10:32 am
To my surprise and delight, I was invited out for drinks with [livejournal.com profile] superfoo and some of her coterie of lively, intelligent students after our final exam yesterday. It was fun, and I was dead chuffed to be asked. I am also declared an "awesome" prof, which makes me even more chuffed. I love my job.