Friday, September 15, 2006

Week's-End Roundup


But let's start with the good things, of which there are many more than the bad. Like this:

- I taught all of my first classes, and was thrilled with the engaged, excited students I saw in them. I really felt intuitively as though, at this university, first impressions count big time - I don't know why. This made it feel like more pressure. But I think I passed, judging by the feeling in the rooms and the tone of students who talked to me.

- I had several students come and chat with me! Yay! I had made a plea for students to come to office hours - and some did. Just to shoot the breeze, one did, yesterday. How fantastic is that? And yesterday while I was waiting for shuttle to take me to Satellite Campus, a student from the theory course came up and chatted with me about the class, telling me how X - we're reading her for next week - is his very favourite writer. He asked me who my favourite writers are. How much do I love these students? This is what I came here for.

- I ran into an acquaintance I always really liked, a woman from my Grad Uni that I used to see at the gym all the time. I barely knew her, but she was always so warm and friendly, I wanted to be her friend. She is teaching at New Uni, and seemed genuinely happy to see me, and was all about us getting together. Lovely! Maybe we finally will become friends. Frankly, I would like someone to have drinks with in Uni City. I miss Drinks - they were, I have to say, a great highlight of my year, last year.

- My Chair and colleagues continue to be awesome, and my Chair is so good that she is being added to my list of senior-scholar role models. She deserves a post of her own, in the days or weeks to come. For now, suffice it to say that, though she is crazy-busy right now with the beginning of the year and computer/registration headaches, her first priority seems to be helping those of us who are new get oriented and feel comfortable - so, for example, we're all going out for an informal, non-working lunch off campus next week.

- With one sweetheart of a colleague who is not on campus very often, I have arranged to use her office when my officemate is in ours. She is happy to do this, and it is a huge relief to me. Huge.

There were some things that were hard, though:

- This office-sharing, nowhere-to-go situation (which is now largely rectified, thanks to the above) grew just absurd. Yesterday I had 3 1/2 hours on campus in the afternoon when I couldn't be in the office, yet couldn't leave because I was waiting for shuttle to take me to Satellite Campus for night class. I thought, perfect - I can always use this time to write. I am writing a new paper right now. Could I find anywhere in the library that actually had somewhere for me to plug in my laptop? (Require plug-in because battery sucks.) No, I could not. I found outlets in a non-quiet zone, where there were students cackling into cell phones all around me. My options were that, or my Senior Common Room, which doesn't have any table/desktop space and has people just hanging out and chatting (as they should, in such a room). I was crazed with frustration. My afternoon of writing was shot. Hopefully this will work itself out with my colleague's borrowed office, though.

- This schedule is way too tiring. Several days are at least 13 hours long, because of the evening teaching. Yesterday was 15 1/2 hours, including teaching from 7-10pm. I get home to Home City at 12:30am. Not good at all. I feel comatose and all I will want to do, Friday-Sunday, is hibernate...after a week with little/no relaxing. I suspect I will have very little Life this year. That makes me sad.

- Satellite Campus is the pit of Hell. It makes me want to claw my eyes.

But there's lots of good. I just need to be really careful about taking care of myself, managing stress and fatigue...I have to say it: Thank god it's Friday.


medieval woman said...

TGIF! It sounds like your schedule is crazy this semester - I'm very impressed that you are able to separate out and acknowledge all the good things from the exhaustion.

Hope your weekend is chill and you can get some work done!

What Now? said...

I'm glad you've now got an office home-away-from-home, esp. given your crazy schedule this year.

What Now? said...

Oh, and on an unrelated note: I made your whole wheat banana muffins today -- totally fabulous! I didn't have any wheat bran, so I substituted wheat germ, and it was all quite tasty and delicious. Thanks for the recipe!

Hilaire said...

Oh, I'm so glad to hear that...they're so yummy. I think I'm going to make them in the morning!