Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Killing the Last 20 minutes of Office Hours

So everything got resolved with the grad class. But yesterday we had to meet rather than Monday, and that was a long sucky day.

I was exhausted after such a long heinous day, and I let them go an hour early.

My day hasn't really gone to plan, at least not for my office hours. I had intended on spending only an hour on "work stuff" and getting through a paper from last quarter because the stu wants to use it as a writing sample for grad school applications so I promised I'd go through it with a fine toothed comb. All of these things would have been possible in an hour had I not had to circle campus twice to find a parking spot. On top of running late anyway. Then I had to take care of a couple of things on-line for my own self, post some stuff to Moodle for the students (which took forever to download), and well, here we are with only 20 minutes of office hours left, not enough time to get anything meaningful done. So, I listen to Pandora and blog instead and sit here an miss my baby.

9 months tomorrow! I can't believe it. She's so gigantic! And funny and smart and clever, vocal, spirited and active. I'm constantly amazed by this little creature we created. She is the most amazing thing ever. My heart aches to be away from her.

I've met with all three classes now, and 2/3 are great. The survey class, I'm afraid, seem to be full of uninspiring duds. But perhaps their first impression was just bad. We'll see. I'm not going to be pessimistic or a debbie downer about them yet. I feel like it's going to be a very long quarter though. I'm already exhausted.

Oh, did I mention that I signed up for this? I can't remember. On the one hand, it's been good for me to do it because I had been really really down about my working out, my confidence had been super low, and I'd been feeling really disconnected for quite some time from that community. And even though the last two competition work outs have been really disappointing for me, it's been good for me to partake in the competition because as you know, I have to be working toward something, I have to feel tough in the gym, and I need to feel like I can accomplish something in order for me to be able to get anything done in all aspects of my life. I feel better more consistently working out, even if I am still really struggling with my postpartum body. It's tough on the body to be an old mom and to have had a c-section. And I was in really good shape before and pretty good shape during my pregnancy, but that damn c-section is taking my body forever to recover from. I'm only just now really starting to feel recovered. So 9 months it's taken my body to really heal from that. Sigh. I do wish things had been different, but oh well.

And oh look! Office hours are up. Peace out! :)

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Hating all the things

Once again, my totally incompetent, completely flaky boss has taken my perfectly wonderful workable spring schedule and fucked it up royally.

I have a grad class. Boss: "When you like to teach your grad class?" Me: "Monday nights because the J is home on Mondays and he'll be able to watch the Magpie." Boss: "Perfect."

What does she do? She gives me a schedule that has me teaching the grad class from 6-9:30 on TUESDAY nights, a class that starts before the J gets home from work, by a full hour. A class that puts me on campus from 10:00 in the am until 9:30 at night. Child care aside, that's horrendous anyway.

I didn't notice this on the schedule because I had no need to check it. She told me the class would be scheduled for Mondays. I noticed last night after students were emailing me in confusion about the date of the class.

Her response: "Oh, well, I don't think there's anything we can do." I have the emails to her that show us agreeing on the Monday time. She emails the students so it "looks like her fault" which it is! to ask them if they can change to Monday because I can't teach the class on Tuesday, but puts in the email, "if you can't come on Mondays we'll just leave it as is." WTF? I can't come on Tuesdays! Why give the students an out? Why not just leave it with if you can't make this class, I will give you any other class of your choice and make it sub for this one. Fuck you boss!

What the hell am I going to do? I emailed the students myself and bribed them with food at the end of the quarter. I think my email was better than hers because I said I understood that it puts us all in a difficult position my asking them this and that I understand that I'm not the only one with scheduling and child care and work issues. I was so excited and hopeful about the classes this quarter and about my schedule but now, I mean, seriously, WTF? It's just expected then by her that J will take off work when mom leaves to watch the kid? Use up his vacation time because of her incompetence?

Maybe the students will come through for me and it will all work out. There are still a few days yet.

Any advice? What the hell can I possibly do about this as an untenured professor? Or, like last spring, am I going to have to take another one for the team (it doesn't seem that my male colleagues in the same position as me are asked to make the same sacrifices) because I'm untenured? Do I just suck it up, make the best of it, and avoid her for the quarter?

ETA: It looks like the students as of right now are able to make the change, which I do hope is true. Plus the grad chair just emailed them to tell them that class is on Mondays, whether they like it or not, which I'm sure she wasn't that harsh about it. It looks like we have to meet this Tuesday anyway so people can get their stuff in order to make the change, but thanks for letting me vent. I just needed to get some of the rage out and hopefully everything will work out. 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

WooHoo! Quarter is finally over!!

Thank God that damn quarter is over.

We're on break now, and it's glorious. I get to spend time with my mom, with the baby, with the husband. I don't have to rush anywhere. I might actually get to get some things done around the house. Wouldn't that be just the swellest thing?

I'm actually really looking forward to this coming quarter. I'm looking forward to the stuff I get to teach, and even though I have three preps, I'm actually looking forward to having only one section of the survey class. I'm looking forward to my research project. I'm looking forward to Springtime in general (which I usually don't. I don't much like Spring for some reason).

I'm feeling much better these days, too. A significant reason I believe is just the quarter being over. I was really getting down there for a while. I spent part of the last two weeks just crying and shuffling and not wanting to do anything. But the J decided that he was going to sign up for the CrossFit Open. And since I'm a total jealous cat and would have just been sick watching him compete and not take part in it, I signed up, too. Even though I have only two of the major skills and have no shot in hell of getting anywhere (not even in the box rankings), just doing the Open and doing the competitors workouts at the box have significantly elevated my confidence in general. I am finally starting to feel like my old self again. For the first time, in a very very very long time, I feel like I can manage the work I need to do; I feel like I might actually get a draft of this article written this quarter; I feel like I might actually be able to improve my performance in my workouts, too.

So, I'm going to answer a few emails and then go do some housework. Happy Mardi Gras all!