14 August 2009

Waning Days of Summer

I've been baking up a storm, slowly but surely working my way through the baking section of Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything. The latest project: cinnamon buns, which were stickily delicious and forced me to engage in an extra half-hour on the elliptical yesterday.

I'm procrastinating, wishing and hoping that a slew of baking will slow down the onset of the school year. I had my first "not prepared for the first day of school" dream last night, a reminder that yeast will make bread rise but will not make the hours pass any more slowly. I'm teaching two, taking four this semester, which may very well change before the end of the day. Two of the classes are in my minor, gender studies, while another is dissertation proposal preparation; the fourth is a class in online content analysis through our School of Library Science. When scheduling in the spring, I was counting on only teaching one section this term. With two, I'm unsure I can manage such a schedule and actually learn something in it. Online content analysis may be going to the wayside.

I'm looking forward to returning to teaching, despite the fact my syllabus has been chopped up into pieces. This will be the third year I've taught this class and finally feel like I have a grasp on how I want it to go, what I want to change to make it a better class for both my students and for myself as an instructor. I'm introducing a memoir project through which I hope to walk my students through both the writing workshop structure and process writing. I've mapped out concepts to be covered throughout the course of the year. I hope this will alleviate some of the pressure I feel to cover everything in the fall and then flounder a bit in the spring. I'm also hoping that this will more authentically connect assessment and methodology for my students. We shall see.

All of this, of course, relies on finishing actually writing the syllabus and then working through all of the assignment sheets and rubrics for grading. Syllabuses (just as correct as syllabi) are never simple and this current one just seems overwhelming...

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