Friday, November 29, 2013

Nearly Mindless

Why is it that nearly mindless computer games are so engrossing?

Even if I'm not particularly enjoying a game of computer solitaire, I still want to play it rather than grade or any number of other more or less useful things I could do, many of which are way more pleasant than grading?

What is it about these games?

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Pizza on Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate it.

Last year, I started a new tradition and had some friends over for Pizza on Thanksgiving (TM). 

Everyone loves pizza, right?  And it's way less stressful and overwhelming to make than a turkey, especially if you're a single person.

Pizza on Thanksgiving (TM) doesn't pretend to be a traditional thanksgiving dinner, so I don't feel like I'm missing out on what made thanksgiving great when I was a kid, and that was being a kid with a lot of cousins around, good food, and fun.  (Even that wasn't without its conflicts, however, since as a girl, I was expected to be all dressed up, and dressed up meant I didn't get to go outside and play football with the boy cousins.)  Instead, Pizza on Thanksgiving (TM) is about sharing a relaxed, informal meal with friends

We make adult pizza, so not the overloaded saucy pizza of kidness.  Instead, we've got a variety of choices, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, a crumbly goat cheese, basil, oregano (both fresh), quartered artichoke hearts, olives, and mushrooms.  We'll see what folks want to do with the different pies.

Now if I can get some grading done, my weekend will be much better!

Monday, November 25, 2013


We did the coolest thing today, thanks to Susan (who sometimes comments here).  We had a Skype session with her and my class, and we learned tons, and it worked great.

It also made me acutely aware, in ways that I sometimes forget, how shy and quiet many of my midwestern students are.  They'll chat away with a ton of questions one on one, but in a group of four or more, especially when they don't know someone, they're a whole lot quieter.

Still, they tell me they had a great time and thought the session was really valuable for them.

I think I'm making it to the 21st century after all!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

New Digs

We're moving to a new building, soon, the first new academic building on our campus since the 70s, I'm told.  And it's beautiful.  For one thing, it's not built for riot control!  And it's using all the technology to allow windows and light.  So, yes, it's beautiful. 

And it's built to ADA code, so people with wheelchairs should be able to use the restrooms and get down the hallways, even.

But the layout, boy oh boy, the layout feels like it was done by people who've never actually inhabited an office.

Here's the basic layout for instructors' offices  (not to perfect scale):

We were all given basically the same office furniture, with a few choices optional (and thank dog one of the deanlings said that we actually needed more than a four foot tall single bookshelf available).

So, we could have a hutch on the top of the desk, which would only fit on the wall at the top of my picture, and would effectively block half the window.  But EVERYONE had to have the same big L-shaped desk, and it has to be where it is. 

Instead of the three bookshelves I've chosen, you could choose 2 bookshelves and a sideways file cabinet, or 1 bookshelf and two sideways file cabinets.

And you could choose an additional desk space sort of rounded off thing to make the desk into a horseshoe shape.

But other than that, it's all basically the same Ikea-style screwed together furniture, with the biggest difference being that every other office is the reverse of the ones next to it.  (And some offices don't have the structural element my office does.)  The chairs aren't in yet, but there will be (I'm told) two student chairs in the upper left space, and one rolling office chair for me.

So, yeah.  I should be thrilled, right?  It has a window, which is good.  And I have an office, which is good.  (And before anyone starts in, our adjuncts all have basically the same office, though some have skylights instead of windows because they're inside offices.)

We went in for a tour, and to tape down sticker things to show where we want our computer and such to go. 

And I was almost crying.

I hate it.  I shouldn't, but I do.

And I don't think this is just me being resistant to change or something.  I think the office isn't well designed for my use.

1.  There's no way to sit and work at the desk and either face the door or be, say, directly sideways to the door.  It will always be behind me.  Do you folks have those students who just walk into someone's office without any hesitation and loom over the space?  We do.  A lot.  In my current office, I can see them coming.  I have a feeling my office door is going to be closed all the time in this office.  (Usually, I leave it fully open because I think it's a more friendly feeling to the building.  But friendly be damned.)

2.  There's a window, but there's no good way to, say, stand and look out, and mull.  To get a good look out beyond the roof (we all look onto the roof of the floors below us), I'll have to sit on my desk.

3.  The office has about 18 inches of file cabinet space (hung with a single regular drawer under the desk).  Yes, I chose the three bookshelves option, because I teach literature and have a lot of books.  My current office has three bookshelves, and they were pretty darned full.  (I say "were" because we've been told to start packing, so I've packed most of the books I don't think I'll need before the beginning of the semester.)  What the hell am I going to do with four file drawers of files?  (We're required to keep all student work that isn't handed back for two years, so that's filling part of my file drawers, along with a full drawer for text teaching notes, and another drawer with course notes, and them stuffed in, advising and committee notes.)   And the single desk drawer?  That's gotta fit everything, the emergency tampons (because some of us are female humans, right?), the Tums, and so on, along with pens, stapler, index cards, etc.

4.  There's no coat hook on the back of the door.  I know this is a small thing, but think about it.  This is the icy north, where we have some six months of serious coat weather, and not a single office has a place to hang coats.  Who designs a building in the icy north without thinking about where to put big bulky coats?  The same people who design academic office spaces without both book and file space.

I don't think they were purposefully trying to make the offices inutil, but rather that they're used to designing corporate type offices, and didn't talk to any people who actually inhabit academic offices about how we use them.  Yes, some people really like desk space, and they should have been able to choose desk space options.  I'm guessing digital humanities people will tend to need fewer bookshelves than lit type people.  And some people won't keep paper files at all.  And some people want to sit right next to the window to look out.  And some people don't want to sit with their backs to the door.  And so on.

The administrative types who like uniformity and "branding" are happy, though, because every single office looks alike on every floor.  Each floor has it's "accent color" (ours is muddy brown, though they call it something that sounds more corporate), and everything will be uniform.  All of us interchangeable cogs in the academic machinery will march along like factory workers, hoping they don't outsource us.

How soon can I retire?

One last thing:  the hallway is interminably long, like the long of one of those nightmarish scenes in 60s movies where there's a long hallway of offices, all alike, and the workers all march in step to their place in the office.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Shared Chaos

We have computer storage areas (that is, storage areas set up on university servers somewhere in physical space, rather than closets where we store spare computers), and some of those storage areas are dedicated in specific "drives" (a denotation which makes sense when you're talking about a hard drive, but I'm not sure that's how these storage areas work in physical space at all; who knows).

So, there's a "drive" for the [organizational unit] for this committee I'm chairing, and within that OU drive, there's a big file area for the committee I'm chairing (which I'm going to call the CIC for now).  And within that big file area are CIC stuff dating back to when the drive was first set up, long ago.  And it's all the heck over.

There are file folders labeled: Urgent Work
And there are file folders labeled by year: 2007
And file folders by topic: Forms to fill out, or meeting notes

And there are "loose" files, some of meeting notes, some of forms, some of committee actions, and some with names such as LBP34, where LBP doesn't seem to stand for anything I can recognize even when I open up the file and read that it's meeting notes from 2011.  You know each person who put something in there thought they were saving it in a place where it would be "easy" to find, but over time, and with different ideas of what's "easy" to find, it just becomes chaos.  And then a new chair takes over, and labels things a different way, but doesn't change the last chair's labels, and so on.

I'll be honest.  I may be a little obsessive about some organizational sort of stuff.  I keep, for example, files for works I teach, and files for classes, and files for committee work.  My teaching files are alphabetical by author.  My books are organized in shelves:  Shakespeare alphabetical by title, crit/theory type alphabetical by author, other early modern lit alphabetical by author/title, other plays alphabetical by author/title, other lit alphabetical by author/title.  (Then there are the anthologies, which are on the bottom shelf.)

So the OU drive disorganization bothers me.

Or did.  Because this morning, I got to the point of bother where I just started reorganizing.  I started with the premise that stuff older than 3 years can all be put together.  And most stuff that's not from this year can be put by year.  And then stuff that gets re-used, such as Forms to fill out, can be put together and not separated by year.

So now the OU drive looks something like this, by file folder:

CIC 2010 and older
CIC 2010-2011
CIC 2011-2012
CIC 2012-2013
CIC 2013-2014 Agenda and Minutes
CIC 2013-2014 Communications
CIC 2013-2014 Work in Progress
Forms to fill out
General Information

At the end of the year, I'll make a CIC 2013-2014 folder, and put the three folders in there as subfolders.  At least that's my plan.

I feel so much better now. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


I'm chairing this basketweavers' committee and the person who volunteered to be secretary keeps taking more time or being later with stuff than I'd like.

So, for example, if we have a meeting on Friday, and agree to make some changes in a document for which the secretary is responsible, then I tend to feel that sometime on Monday I can look for a new version.

I think I'm impatient to get these things moved on, because I know other people are waiting for them.  But I'm not really sure if my impatience is in any way reasonable, so I've been trying to hold my peace about it. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Teaching Angst?

In that early modern class, we're reading Donne and Herbert and Herrick, three priests who have really different poetic practices and whose poetry works through a fair bit of religious thought.

It might help to know that I'm an atheist, though I was raised Christian.  I remember as a teenager having a serious episode of religious angst (to which my Mom responded with a stern "get over yourself") and finally decided that Christianity didn't make logical sense to me, and that was pretty much that (which didn't make either of my parents very happy with me).

Most of my students, though, are Christian to some extent.

I talked a bit in this recent post about teaching Donne and got some helpful advice from Flavia about being more direct with my students in asking them to think about how Donne imagines God.  So we did that with Donne and Herbert together, and put the students' thoughts up on the board, so, for example, they thought that in what they'd read, Donne sees himself (and when I say "himself" I mean the speaker, though it's hard to feel that separation sometimes) as worrying about being saved and sees it as necessary for God to do the saving, but worries that God won't.  Herbert, on the other hand, sees God as already reaching out to him, as being welcoming, even though he sees himself as deeply unworthy.  Herbert doesn't worry about being saved because he feels that God has already reached out and is reasserting his welcome.

They found Herbert's confidence much more familiar from their experience in our culture, much more what they hear around.

Then one of the students asked how two people with a common religion in the same period could have such different ideas about God.

On one level, that's a naive question.

But on another level, it's a really good question for my students to ask because it reveals that they're beginning to see that there's a possibility of two really different understandings of the same religion by two people who are both demonstrably serious about their religious beliefs.

We talked a bit about how even one person could feel at some point utterly confident in God's grace, and at another point completely terrified of not experiencing that grace, and then, perhaps, again confident, and so on.

It's not that I want my students to stop believing in whatever they believe, it's that I want them to think seriously about what they believe and to think hard about what their religion means.  And I think that Donne and Herbert have gotten some of them started thinking about that.

And then, of course, Herrick comes along.  I think someone with a good bit of wit should start a Herrick twitter feed and have a nice chat with Chaucer.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Midwestern Tough

A couple of springs ago, I planted some violas in my yard for that annual flower happiness they bring.  But a year ago this spring, I got some marigolds and put them around, and this year I used the seedlings from those marigolds.
But this viola started up in a container with an artichoke, and thinking it was pretty, I didn't pull it.  And now, despite a few weeks of chilly mornings, it's still flowering.  After each hard night frost, I look out, and think, aw, it's dead now.  But then when I get back in the afternoon, it's back looking lively and flowery.  So I leave it.  But I haven't done anything to take care of it since the artichoke with it died some weeks ago now.  Still, it goes on, flowering like it means it.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Wagging the Dog

Over in the underwater basketweaving department, they're working on assessment projects like mad because the new campus assessment person has said jump in a very loud voice, and the headmaster's assistant has cracked the whip.

They have this program, a certificate in underwater basketweaving, which is a bit less than a minor, but gives students practical skills for managing and working with basketweaving projects later.  The certificate has six classes, Basketweaving basics (UBW 10), Underwater safety (UBW 20),  Introductory reed work (UBW 101), Basketweaving theory (UBW 103), and Integrative basketweaving (UBW 190, a sort of capstone experience), with one elective (at the 100 level or above) to be chosen from a group of basketweaving classes.

They were told that they had to write out specific goals and outcomes for the certificate program, and that for every goal, there had to be at least one outcome, and for every outcome, at least one way to demonstrate that every student did it.  The pressure from the campus assessment person is that we all have to do assessment stuff "in a meaningful way," and so he hints that we should all limit the numbers of outcomes.

The goal for this certificate is that students should be able to weave basic underwater baskets, and that they should do so safely, and they should understand how basketweaving works.  That gets broken down into a couple of outcomes, which I'll number:

1)  Weave underwater baskets.

2)  Use safe and appropriate techniques.

3)  Understand basic basketweaving issues.  (Which in assessment outcome talk is going to come out as something like "demonstrate an understanding of basic basketweaving")

Then they were told to make a grid, showing where each of the outcomes was taught, and where each would be assessed.  Let's use "T" for courses where things will be taught, and "Ass" for where they'll be assessed

Basketweaving basics (UBW 10):  1T; 3T

Underwater safety (UBW 20):  2T

Introductory reed work (UBW 101): 1T; 3T

Basketweaving theory (UBW 103): 3T

Integrative basketweaving (UBW 190, a sort of capstone experience):  1A, 2A, 3A

Since they don't know which of the electives students will take (Advanced Underwater Safety, Intermediate Basketweaving, whatever), they don't put the electives on the list.

Then they're asked to fill out another form, telling how UBW 190 is going to assess each of the outcomes.  So they've chosen as their assessment the final project, the production of an underwater basket without drowning or losing body parts.  Oh, and they also have to use something written to demonstrate understanding, but some people don't give an exam, and some people require an extensive reflection piece about the woven underwater basket, while others do give an exam, but do it as an oral.  It's a mess, but they're working on it.

And now, they're a bit worried, because budget cuts are coming down the pike along with an emphasis on getting students through programs as fast as possible, and they're going to be driven by assessment.

UBW 103, the theory class, doesn't seem to teach any of the outcomes that aren't also taught in the other classes, so are the beancounters going to come back and say, "Well, it doesn't contribute to the outcomes you've assigned, so why is it required?  If it were important, you would have put it on your grid."

"And the elective?" the beancounters will ask, "Do students even learn anything in the elective?  It's not on your grid, so they must not learn anything."

Coming soon to a campus near you, because it's for the students!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Reading Religion

I taught a couple of Donne's Holy Sonnets this week, and the students had a short writing assignment about one of them:
Batter my heart, three-person'd God, for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend
Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp'd town to another due,
Labor to admit you, but oh, to no end;
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captiv'd, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be lov'd fain,
But am betroth'd unto your enemy;
Divorce me, untie or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.
Most of the students did a fine job, looking carefully at the sonnet and thinking well about the imagery and word choices.

Some of them didn't do quite as well, and their difficulties reminded me of the difficulty one of my students had way back when doing a short assignment which asked her to look at the imagery used for Jesus in "The Dream of the Rood."  The difficulty is that they've been taught and strongly adopted one set of imagery for Jesus, and they're unwilling or unable to grasp other imagery for Jesus by themselves, without someone pointing out in an explicit way that they're accustomed to one sort of imagery, but that there's other imagery being used in this piece of literature.  Usually, the imagery they've been taught is a Jesus as pastor imagery, with a totally merciful, kindly diety.

The student who reads like this, for example, writes that this poem is talking about how much Donne (or the speaker, if they're a bit more sophisticated) loves God and knows that he will be saved, of course.

That's not the imagery that Donne uses and it's not the God he imagines.  His God is fearsome and aweful, and Donne's speaker expresses real doubt about their relationship.

In teaching early modern lit, I often teach texts that demonstrate a variety of imagery for the Christian diety, but students don't seem to ever misrecognize the pastoral, lamb of God sort of imagery for a more violent or doubtful imagery the way some students misrecognize violent or doubtful imagery as pastoral.  Is that because students who've experienced more violent or doubtful imagery have also experienced the more pastoral imagery?  Or have they been taught to approach religious imagery differently?

That said, I think some of the students who are reading Paradise Lost this semester are getting a lot out of thinking hard about the justification part.  Do I get points for inspiring existential crises?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Around the Intertubes

There's an image going around the intertubes, which seems to come from a student affairs sort of office, and invites the recipient to a "special etiquette tips" meal (Source).

Yes, you're thinking, this is a good idea!  Help students learn to have table manners that will help them fit in with the middle or upper classes!

 Except, it's not aimed at students.  Nope, it was apparently sent to faculty and staff.

Okay, now take a closer look. 

And, respond!

Friday, November 08, 2013

Get it Out of the Way

You've probably heard this from students, where "it" is some requirement, a course, test, whatever.

I'm sure I said it myself at some point, and about some things (a certain requirement from my phud program comes to mind).

As an adviser, though, I find these statements frustrating.

I usually try to get the student to recognize that someone thought this requirement was useful and important, and maybe the student should think about why that might be and what they might gain from doing whatever it is the requirement requires.

Sometimes, I recognize, it's a hoop to jump through because someone had a political or turf stake in creating or maintaining that hoop.

But mostly, I think general education requirements have a real, useful purpose, even if they aren't worked out especially well or explained to students even minimally.

How about you folks?

General Education requirements?  Useful or total BS?

And how do you communicate to students about them?

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Scene from my Day

Scene:  Bardiac, sitting at a computer in the office, trying to get work done before a meeting starts.  The door is open.

Enter a student to the office door

Student:  Do I need a registration code?

Bardiac:  I don't know.

Student looks both befuddled and frustrated.

Bardiac:  How would I know?

Student:  (As if the thought has never occurred to him/her that s/he isn't the center of everyone's world.)  Ummmm, I don't know.

Bardiac:  Are you a first year student?

Student:  No.

Bardiac:  Are you a sophomore?

Student:  Yes.

Bardiac:  Then you probably need one.

Student:  Can you give me my registration code?

Bardiac looks confused (as usual).

Student:  (Making to walk into the office, before stopping at the withering stare.)  You're my advisor.

Bardiac:  Do you want to make an advising appointment?

Student:  Oh.  (Wait a beat or two.)  I guess so.

Bardiac:  My office hours are on the door, can you come then?  (Pointing to a big, colored display on the doorStudent looks confused.)  The office hours are in that pinkish color.  (Student points to each of the three hours separately, slow motion.)

Student:  Not this week.

Bardiac:  Monday?

Student:  I have class on Monday at [time].  I could usually come on Friday, but I have work this week at [time].

Bardiac:  How about 8 am.  Do you have something scheduled then?

Student:  No.

Bardiac:  So, how about 8 am on Friday?

Student:  Okay. (Starts to walk away.)

Bardiac:  Wait, what's your name?

Student:  [Name] (Gives name as if insulted, because how could anyone possibly not remember his/her wonderful special self.)

Exit Student, manet Bardiac.

Want to bet someone's going to hear from this student about what a horrible person I am, and how I didn't help him/her get the registration code the instant s/he wanted it, and I was just sitting there at the computer?

Sunday, November 03, 2013

The Birding Road Trip

This may seem like an odd time to take a birding road trip in the upper Midwest, but there have been some reports lately of Whooping Cranes in a couple of areas.  So I packed up an overnight bag, and off I went.

I had two possible places on my visit list, so I started at the closer one, a national wildlife area.  Fortunately, I came across a sign for the visitor center pretty quickly, went in, and got directions for four areas to try. 

I started with the walk near the visitor center.  I could see some Canada Geese, and a few Sandhill Cranes.  It's weird, but after driving very focused on getting there, it took me some time to slow down, or calm down, and just relax and walk and listen.  There was a lot of calling going on, geese and that weird crane call.  (If you've never heard a crane, you can hear recordings at the Cornell Lab's About Birds Page.  You should listen!)

Then I went to a southern observation area which had a short walk and a small observation tower.  And, of course, I took some pictures.

These are Sandhill Cranes.  They're BIG!  Really impressive birds.  You can see that they're light grey.  If you compare them with, say, Great Blue Herons, you can see that these Sandhills have a red cap area on their forehead, and also their bodies look bulkier.  They're not hugely uncommon, but I still think they're amazing.

So, I looked and looked, and then I saw this white spot!
You can tell it's a pretty big bird, but holy cow, it's way far away!  But bright!  White!  It really stands out, doesn't it?

It's either a Whooping Crane or?  Well, I thought maybe an egret, but it's body is more the crane bulkiness.

And then there were two!
You can tell how much bigger and brighter these are than the Canada Geese near them.

But, I have to admit, I was a little disappointed.  I'm pretty sure these were Whooping Cranes, but they were really far away, barely more than dots in my binoculars.  So maybe I was more than a little disappointed.

I went on to the second place they'd suggested, but I didn't see or hear any cranes there.  I was a bit sad.  And it was time for lunch, so I drove to a nearby town and found a little Polish deli (at least I think so, because a lot of the stuff seemed to be Polish style or come from Poland).  And I got myself a really good sandwich.  So that helped. 

I also stopped back at the visitor center and showed the pictures (in my camera) to two of the volunteers their, and they both seemed pretty confident that it was the right bulkiness and brightness for a Whooping Crane.  So that gave me a bit more confidence.

The next step was to drive north along this one dirt road, and stop at a couple other observation areas.

I passed this area that was wooded on both sides, before the road went out onto a dike thing between two watery areas.  And my jaw dropped, because right there, on either side of the road, about 100 or so feet from the road, were two pairs of really big, really obvious Whooping Cranes.

Can you tell I was excited?

And it wasn't that they just stood there, either!

The photos don't do the cranes justice.  And, I'm not thrilled by all the lint that was on my lens.  The day was overcast, and I was using my 400mm lens with a doubler, so I didn't get many good pictures (I did get a lot of really blurry ones, though).

I did get to see some crazy rare birds!  I saw at least four, and maybe six (probably six, unless the first two flew up to the other place). 

And yet, somehow, the grading still gets to get done.

Friday, November 01, 2013

Evolution of Faculty Attitudes

January-March of year Minus 1:  I have a job offer!  Hallelujah!

TT, Year 1 - Bright and shiny!  I have a job!  Oh, and look, the Dean is new, too!  I am totally on board with the new assessment program!  This idea will revolutionize teaching!

TT, Year 2 - Thank dog I have a job!  There's a President/Chancellor search?  Hmmmm.  There's this cool advising initiative!  I can't wait to get started!  Gathering all that great assessment data!  Takes a lot of time!  We went through institutional review?  What's that?  Hey, I get to be on a search committee!  Neato!

TT, Year 3 - HOLY CRAP, I have to publish more!  Teach better!  What's this advising change they've made?  What do you mean they changed the assessment program, and all the time I spent gathering that data was wasted?  And now you want me to do what?  Okay, I can totally do that!  We're searching for a new chair?  I wonder what that means for me?  What's a Provost, and why are we searching for a new one?

TT, Year 4 - Head down, write write write!  Must develop new classes!  What happened to that advising thing?  Why is it totally changed?  Learning the new advising system.  Gathering assessment data!  Hey, did you know we had this whole big department review thing to work on?  We found a new chair!

TT, Year 5 - OMG OMG OMG must write more!    Did I hear something about massive curricular reform?  You want me to do what for department review?

TT, Year 6 - Portfolio submitted!  Waiting on tenterhooks.  Um, when did we get a new Dean?  And what do you mean, we have to totally rework the assessment program?  There are a whole lot of meetings to go to about that massive curricular reform.  Sure, I can be on that search committee.  Hey, I guess our departmental review suggested that we change our three majors around totally.  Sure, I'll help with one of those.  I'd love to.  Really.

TT, Year 7 - Tenure!  I made it!  What do you mean, I need to do a lot more service now?  And I need to be on the President/Chancellor search committee?  Still more meetings about the massive curricular reform.  If we can just get everyone to agree on the new major revision for our department.  Sabbatical application DENIED!

TT, Year 8 - The new President/Chancellor hates our curricular reform ideas, so we have to start over.  How did I end up chairing this committee?   I have to learn all about new curricular reform stuff.  Damn, I hope someone good ends up on the Provost search committee.  Yay, we've revamped our major, and it goes live next year!  Sabbatical application APPROVED!

TT, Year 9 - Sabbatical!!!!  OMG, must write!  (Time to start gearing up for the institutional review!  Glad I'm out of that loop!)

TT, Year 10 - Institutional review!  Look, we're working on this curricular reform, and in a couple years, it's going live!  Assessment, assessment, who's got assessment?  Me?  Um...  crap.  What did you people do last year?  Hey, we got a new Dean!  Chairing a new faculty search committee.  We need two new people, but we get one hire... what to do?  Holy cow, how do I advise for the new major?

TT, Year 11 - We really have to get moving on the curricular revision, or we're not going to get accredited next time!  Ack!  There's a totally new advising system!  It doesn't work with the computer system, but the advising office says it will make life so much better for them.  And they want me to notify them every time a student misses class...  But the new system doesn't take into account our new (well, not so new now) major.  The President/Chancellor just resigned.  It's interim time!

TT, Year 12 - You want me to chair the department review committee?  And we simply have to do something about assessment within the department for the new major.  Oops, I was supposed to be all ready to go up for full, but my book isn't at a press yet, and I haven't had time to revise it fully, and those three articles just haven't come out.  Next time!  MUST write more!  President/Chancellor search time!  Should I go to those meetings?

TT, Year 13 - Portfolio submitted for promotion!  Oh, look, the new President/Chancellor has these new ideas about curricular reform and assessment.  And promises to raise lots of money.  Yes, I'll be on the Dean search committee.  No, I won't be department chair, not this time, anyway...  And the Provost just took a new job elsewhere?

TT, Year 14 - How long until I can retire and just teach part time, because I really do love that, still...