Monday, August 24, 2009

Inner Beancounter

I'm most in touch with my inner beancounter, the part of me that organizes and plans ahead, at this point in the semester.

It's sort of a beautiful thing, a well-planned syllabus, with readings prepared, assignments more or less ready to go, the web-thingy in place. It's the part of the semester that holds the most promise, when I can imagine the readings going well, students being able to access the web-thing without problems.

I'm hesitant to print out the syllabus and calendar for copying at this point, because there are always last minute things I need to add and change. But pretty much, I could start teaching one of my classes in the time it takes to print out and copy things. The other two classes aren't nearly that close, but one is good to go, pretty much.

Of course, despite all my plotting and planning, things never work out quite the way I think. There's always fine-tuning to do, adjustments to make.

Looking around NWU and the news, I'm guessing we might find ourselves making a lot of adjustments if there's a bad flu outbreak, especially if I get it. (I don't think I'm high on anyone's priority list of people to get the vaccine, though that's not an issue most years.) Certainly, the campus health folks are talking like they're worried and trying to prepare.


  1. Syllabus-tweakers Anonymous is calling for both of us to sign up, I expect. I love to plan my courses, I love to organize the syllabus for each class and then to send it off for printing. Two of my three classes for fall are done -- the third is still in skeletal planning stages.

    As you say, sometimes nature or other forces intervene. I can usually guarantee that one class session in a term will have to be cancelled due to my own illness, try as I might to soldier on. But the beauty of the well-structured syllabus is that you know what the goals for each session are and then you can figure out how to "plug that hole" going forward!

  2. Same here. There are daily updates on our website as to what will happen if there is a major outbreak, If it gets into the student accommodation blocks life will be seriously interesting.