Virtual Bourgeois

Just An Analog Guy Trying to Upgrade For a Digital World

First Week

Posted by Gerald on August 21, 2008

Since I don’t have Friday classes, today marked the end of the first week of the Fall 2008 semester.  So far I can say that my students seem like a good group, but then I haven’t graded anything yet.  Two early discussion ideas – one an in-class exercise on how to use evidence and the other using “CSI” to explain chains of logic and the need for multiple sources to support an argument – went pretty well.

The killer this semester is my daily drive to our satellite campus.  It is a fifty-mile round trip on a twisty, and very busy, two-lane highway.  It isn’t terrible, but it is a lost hour of office-time and is a bit wearing.  I’ll be reimbursed for mileage (although I’m told by veterans of this that I’ll have to harass the admin folks or I’ll never see a check) but in the meanwhile my gas consumption has increased by about 300%.  Unfortunately no one else makes the drive when I do, so there is no carpooling.

Still, if I feel too sorry for myself I just remind myself that my colleague did this last fall on top of her 80-mile round trip commute (in another direction) every day and dealing with a baby.  So I just need to suck up and deal.

Despite much hand-wringing by the administration about how informal surveys were saying that students were not going to be coming due to gas prices, our enrollment is up 8% over last year’s near record numbers.  This is good.  Except we haven’t added a single square foot of classroom space and our faculty remains the same.  We do have more admin support positions.  They are filled mostly by internal candidates whose old positions have never been filled, so they are doing their old jobs as well as their new ones.

Still we’ve broken ground on a new “conference center” which I’m sure is going to help us improve our ability to deliver quality education at bargain prices just anytime now…

I’m a bit tired and cranky.  Maybe another beer before I go to bed is in order.


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