Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The carnival of mania, mistrust, misrule, and MS begins anew!

Lovely idea!
Yes, that's right! Classes have started again and after a full year of sloggin' through research on retention, success, assessment, administrivia, and oh yeah some other teaching, I'm ready to put on the armor and go forth into academics. Or so I think.

Biggest freshperson class we've ever had, lots of lost students, lots of papers and online organizing-- always the same, really. I do like back-to-school time a lot-- something fresh and new and hopeful about seeing students excited about school. I will admit that college students aren't always that excited and some can be quite truculently silent (as some profs can be, myself included at times). I will admit that the closer they are to high school, the more aggressive they are in their desire to stand out by fitting into one crowd or another. I will also admit I wish I could have more Socratic dialogue and less paperwork.

On the other hand, it's a good job, and I do enjoy the teaching process. I love talking things out with students and figuring out how to help them best. Seeing lightbulbs go on in people's heads is a great reward!

Of course, with this comes the worry that my brain might short circuit again-- or was that a moment of blindness in my right eye? Will 126 degree heat index make it impossible to move? Will I start fluffing words again? WOE!

Yeah, I do worry about that a lot. My work is pretty much all mental, though some is simple endurance, and my brain needs to be pretty well oiled for me to do my job to my satisfaction. I'm hard on myself, but I'm hard on my kiddos too. Luckily so far my job's been okay with accommodations (like dr. appts during the work week!), but I personally feel a little less-than-spiffy. I'm sure it will all ratchet down, but good heavens.. what a job for a MSer to have!