Monday, September 03, 2007

Labour Day: Goals for the new academic year

Labour Day (that most depressing of days, along with New Year's Day, in my experience) seems a perfect time to figure out my goals for the year. It starts this week; classes start Wednesday, I start on Thursday. I am so. not. there. I have been absent from the university for a good ten days, and can't get myself to think in any real way about my classes beginning. I am actually going to spend all day, Tuesday-Friday, on campus, just to try and immerse myself in the feeling of the place and to show my face like a good little colleague...

So, goals for the next eight months:

1. Learn how to teach classes that meet twice a week instead of only once a week, for three hours. I've never done the two eighty-minute sessions thing; I'm a little worried that I've assigned too much reading in both courses. I need to closely gauge all of that.
2. Employ many small exercises in my 85-90 person lecture, which doesn't have a tutorial. (Boo!!) Resist the urge to just lecture; be creative in there. (Suggestions most welcome!)
3. Learn the rudiments of WebCT so that I can "pilot" its use in one of my winter courses (before they roll out a brand new Web program for next year - ha).
4. Make sure, with my Intro class, that I teach every class with goals in mind: goals for both that particular class period, and for how the class will contribute to the foundation of their knowledge in this discipline.

1. Learn how this place works, for goodness sake! It has a very mysterious structure (and one that, from what I have been able to piece together so far, is going to royally piss me off).
2. Advocate for my needs and the needs of my program and its students -- some of which are quite urgent -- in the context of this INSANE structure, while stepping on as few toes as possible.
3. Add four courses to the program, change prereqs, etc., on two existing ones, and change the structure of the first-year course to a two-hour lecture with tutorials. (Good.lord.)
4. Then get a guarantee that I can have a graduate student TA for next year (see number 2, above).
5. Perhaps start the process of turning the program into a major - that will depend on a few factors.

1. Complete major funding application on time and to my own satisfaction
2. Draft first chapter of book project, partly by stitching together conference papers
3. Read in newish area that is very important to overall book project
4. Determine whether to apply for special program at fancy Institute, by January
5. Investigate co-editing a collection of essays
6. Send out article I'm finishing up right now.

1. Run at the rate I'm running right now - 4x a weekish, with one long run per week, and ramp up in January to do early spring half-marathon
2. Do Pilates exercises for core stability (which I began yesterday, yay!)
3. Eat more protein
4. Cut down on sugar (a bit! - one has to have some joy, after all...)
5. Find a good doctor in this city, and get checked for recurrent chest pains.
6. Find a way to dance - some of this will involve traveling to do a kind of dancing I can't do here, but that brings me more joy than almost anything ever has.
7. Make sure I get out cross-country skiing lots in the winter (the no-car thing makes it challenging...)

1. Talk on the phone lots to feel connected to my people in Home City/Area
2. Avoid incessantly talking about work at social occasions
3. Cultivate friendships with people who aren't academics
4. Find a friend here with whom I can sit on my couch and drink wine and chat entirely honestly and comfortably for hours and hours on end (Faux-Girlfriend, I miss you!!)
4. Have lots of visits with my very good friend, C, who has lived in European City That She Researches for years but has landed a Visiting Position in Nearest Metropolis, for this year.
5. Rent videos, even though the video store is a bit of a hike...
6. Blogger meet-ups, dare I hope?

That's plenty to think about, no? So, here I go then.


Marcelle Proust said...

Bonne chance!

adjunct whore said...

having a life. don't forget this one, hilaire.

Belle said...

Re: teaching large survey class w/goals. Tell the students the goal for each class. Oddly enough, they like it and can see where they're going. Who knew?