Saturday, September 11, 2021

Delagar's Mini-Questionnaire Thingy

 Delagar put up an interesting mini-questionnaire thingy:

1. What did your father's father do for a living?

2. What did your father do?

3. What did your mother's mother do?

4. What did your mother do?

5. What do you do?


1.  Worked in steel fabrication, eventually owning the business.  (His father or grandfather started the business.)

2.  Worked in the family steel fabrication business, mechanical engineer.

3.  When I knew her, she worked for an insurance company.  I think she did data entry type stuff.

4.  My mom was a stay at home wife/mother, mostly, though she worked as a grammar school special ed classroom assistant for a while, and as a secretary for a while.  Before she married, and when she was first married, she worked for the advertising department of the Emporium department store.

5.  I'm a professor of English.

Anyone else up for it?

Friday, September 10, 2021

A Week that Is

 It's been a short week, thanks to the Labor Day holiday on Monday.  But it feels like a long one.

New problems have popped up.  For example, we teach a themed course here, and one of the instructors chose the theme of food.  Great.  Interesting.  Important.  But one of the students has recently been diagnosed with an eating disorder, and the readings are just wrong for them.  So they needed to transfer.  Fortunately, the instructor handled the problem with grace, and the student was able to change sections, and did so with apparent grace, and things worked out well.  (I only learned about it because the instructor wasn't quite sure what to do, and then before I had time to do more than begin inquiring and trying to figure out, the student had found another section.)

Other things haven't been so easy.  But I'm happy to say that I think I feel more comfortable in my role as chair this fall than last fall.  Partly that's because I've had a year to learn the job.  And partly that's because we've all gotten a bit better at thinking through Covid stuffs.

The theme of the week is that I'd really like people to come to me with problems or questions early rather than late.  If there aren't file folders in the workroom, then being upset isn't really necessary.  A quick question to me, and I'll ask the department assistant, and they'll happily order them, and within a week or so, the file folders will be there.  If we missed ordering them, it wasn't because we were being mean, but because so few paper supplies were used last year that we haven't been checking things and need to get back in the habit.  And so forth.

The lesson of the week is to try to get a bigger picture of things, and to respect processes, and to delegate.  And then take good notes for myself!

A friend invited me for dinner last night, and it was just so good to go chat about other things, and relax, and so on.  I could feel the stress falling away.  Thank dog for friends!

Tuesday, September 07, 2021

We're Off!

 The semester is now underway, and underway again after the break, so it feels real now.  Students in my class seemed happy to be in class, chatting with each other.  They all wore masks without comment.

My colleagues seem happy as well; a few have medical authorization to teach remotely, but most folks are back in the classroom.  

The big change over classes last year is that there's no social distancing; rooms are packed at their old capacities.  We're all used to wearing masks now, so that's easy.  But with the delta variant, I think we're all a bit worried.  I am, anyway.

I walk by the special high muckety muck parking lot every day, in and out from my further parking area.  Not one day yet in the semester has the provost's car been in their place.  I wonder what's up with that?  But really, it's not the sort of thing I can ask.  I just assume it's special rules for special people, and eff the rest of us who need to be in person.

The headmaster's car is in his special place today, but wasn't most of last week.  And the others are mostly empty.  I dislike the muckety mucks more and more as their exercise of privilege is more and mover visible to me.  (And the dislike is mostly about their insistence that we peons all teach in person, and their deep resistance to allowing people to get medical exemptions this semester.  If they were fine with us choosing how to teach, I'd shrug off their own situations.  But I have colleagues who are at risk and still teaching face to face.)

And now, back to class prep!