Tuesday, January 30, 2007

how's it going?

I'm getting that question a lot these days. I always answer, "unclear."

Today will mark day #2 of T/Th class (my full-ish class), in which they will take a diagnostic essay. When they're doing the essay, I'll mark their format check/responses to "Printcrime" exercise I had them do for today. I have my green pen all ready. Or it could be orange. Or pink. I like to randomize these things; I'll use whatever I pull out of my pen pocket. Ooooh, the excitement! (yes, I'm kidding about that being exciting)

The students in that class seem perfectly fine. Two didn't show until the first day, two dropped after the first day, two wanted to add on the first day but only one has used an add code yet, and it's still possible others will try to add today. So, I could have anywhere from 21 to 25 students. It's unclear.

The MW class (the one added at the last minute) met for the first time yesterday. I've only given out 10 add codes. I hope they don't cancel the class. There's still a chance that other people will try to add it, but it's unlikely. If I end up having only 10 in the class, I'll probably ask the internets for ideas for things to try out in a class of only 10 students. It's unclear.

I have seniors registered in each of my classes. I'm amazed that a student could take enough credits to be a senior without having taken any upper division GE or major courses. There's a "gatekeeper" test before junior year, the Writing Skills Test, which is supposed to keep students from taking upper division GE and major courses w/ writing components unless they pass this test. They can't take the test unless they've passed English 1A and 1B. So...how there are seniors in my courses who are not transfers, I don't know. Oh well. They each seem suitably embarrassed for putting it off so long, since they're in classes full of freshmen and sophomores.

The courses will hit their stride next week, so I'll have a better feel for the students. One thing to note is that approximately 30% of them said that Tuesdays with Morrie was the last book they'd read. Another 20% or so said The Kite Runner. The latter book is the "university book" for this year, so all Freshmen got a copy when they began the year...hooray for reading it! They read the former in RECL 10, the ever-popular "Creating a Meaningful Life" course. Hey, whatever gets them to read...

As for me and my wee bairn of a thesis (Muir was Scottish. It works.), I'll probably begin writing in earnest this weekend. March 15th is not that far away.

My actual job? It's fine right now. Although I don't talk about it (being all technical and such), I still have it. And I will still have a form of it when I go off to PhD Land, just not full time (duh).