Thursday, March 15, 2007

Yay, Thursday

I like Thursdays. My teaching week is over (well, not really, but my prep is over - the class I teach tonight at Satellite Campus is the same one as last night). I feel as if I can breathe again - the earlier part of the week is so intense, and has been even more so in the last few weeks. Also, this week feels less insane than last, when I felt as I was going to have a bit of a nervous breakdown. Though things still feel like a lot to manage emotionally (still haven't figured out how to blog about this...maybe I never will). It is probably good that there are only three more weeks of classes, since I am finding it so emotionally exhausting. On the other hand, whoa, do I ever not want to say goodbye to a lot of these students! Jesus - I thought last year was bad in terms of grief at leaving the students...but it has nothing on this year!

Stuff I'm thinking about:

- One of the things I need to work on today (when I get kicked out of my office by my annoying officemate at 2pm) is designing a kind of visioning session. As I've mentioned, when I start my TT job, I'm going to be coordinating and building a program from very little. This is exciting. I have lots of ideas about curriculum and structure, lots I want to develop. I've also had some really good chats with some of the students here, over the course of the year, about the program here at Dream Uni. They have lots of constructive criticism about curriculum, ideas about how to make it a better program, and ideas about what they've loved, what has worked. Since this uni seems to turn out really well-trained students in my field, I am kind of using the department/them as a model and inspriration. So I have organized this informal session for this coming Sunday evening, at which I'm going to pick their brains about their ideas. Just to hear what they respond to, and don't, in terms of curriculum and pedagogy. A lot them have indicated that they're looking forward to an opportunity to have this conversation, so that's good - I hope I get a sizable turnout. It also feels nerve-racking, though - like throwing a party and worrying that nobody will come (which is compounded by the fact that I'm actually paying to book the space to hold this session in - and that I'm coming in from Home City on my weekend). When they don't have to come to things with me (i.e. class), how many actually will? I've bribed them with the promise of good snacks - my secret weapon is to import loukoumades (Greek honey balls) from Home City!

- I am officially addicted to tea, I realize. I've been a pretty serious tea drinker for a while, but have realized that it's started to get a bit out of control lately, espcially when I'm at the uni! I have a kettle in my office, and I make cup after cup. I start to feel as if I have to ration my tea intake! It's all bound up with comfort...I strongly associate tea with comfort, and I want lots of that lately...But in the grand scheme of things, tea is a pretty innocuous vice, of course.

- Speaking of hot beverages, I am having a love-in with Tim Hortons lately. (For those of you who don't know what it is: it's a highly, highly, highly popular and freaking ubiquitous Canadian coffee-and-doughnut chain...really bound up with Canadian identity, with eyebrow-raising nationalism, in was started by a hockey player, for chrissake! And they have started colonizing the US now - in western New York, eastern PA.) I have been getting a twelve-grain bagel, toasted, with butter, for my breakfast often when I am in Uni City. I have changed the route I take from the place I stay to get to the bus stop to campus, so that I can stop by there. I don't know what is going on with me, but for some reason this is just a ridiculously delicious thing. I hit the roof with excitement over it. I make sure I am sitting down to fully savour it. It's a little bit of that elusive joy! And so is getting my tea from them instead of in my office - in fact, it's my Thursday afternoon treat once I get turfed from my office and am wandering around campus. I'm all about Timmy's these days.

- It's supposed to snow again tomorrow. Boo. Just when we thought spring was here. Sigh...

- I'm going to visit Medieval Woman soon! Yay!

I had nothing really of substance here, did I? Sometimes I find it comforting just to check in here, at the old blog. Off I go to start thinking about this visioning discussion on Sunday night...and to have a tea at Tim's.


medieval woman said...

Yay! The Dutchman is also really looking forward to hanging out with you as well!

And as for the visioning session - GREAT IDEA! What a fantastic way to take advantage of what a great resource your program is right now, to give the students, etc. a chance to give their input, and to honor what they've given you by truly wanting to incorporate the wonderful things about Dream Uni's program into your own new program!


Pantagruelle said...

It's supposed to snow here tonight too. (I don't think we're in the same city, but I do think we are in the corridor, if I'm not mistaken.) Just when I was really getting used to all these +3 days, it suddenly plummets back to -10 and all the run-off from the melting snow has frozen into puddles of ice. Is it too much to hope that the snow will merely be a light dusting that will melt again by morning?

You've totally given me a craving for Tim's now too! I can see the back of the library building (which houses a Tim's right on campus) from my office window, and a 12-grain bagel with butter sounds delicious right about now!

Hilaire said...

Thanks, MW - Yeah, I'm really looking forward to it. And when I actually do a count of the people who've said they'll definitely come, I realize I have at least 1/3 of my students coming.

Pantagruelle - Yeah, I totally rely on the Tim's on my campus, too. I really hate that the big corps have infiltrated campuses - but I find it hard to get angry about this particular one! :0

psychgrad said...

I know what you mean about Timmies. I see people lining up for 15 minutes to get a coffee. I think it's laced with crack (maybe they roll it up the rim).

Hilaire said...

Yeah, I've totally had similar thoughts about the addicitive substance that might be in it! Though I actually think it's all about addiction to an idea - of ourselves as Canadians??

psychgrad said...

They definitely do a good job of brand marketing so that you actually feel patriotic buying a drink. I think I may have shed a tear or two while watching their commercials.

I'm not a coffee drinker myself, so I can't attest to the actual quality.