choco_frosh: (Default)
Reasons I hate study guide preparation:

1. Tedious, fiddly, stressful.

2. One of the major annoyances of World History - namely, trying to cram too much material into too little space - in concentrated form.

3. Foreknowledge that students will complain about it.

4. Invariably makes me realize that I've been inadvertently sexist in my coverage all semester. (Reminds me that I did the same thing last year/semester, promised myself amendment of life, and failed to do better.)

5. I should not have to work during Triduum.

6. Especially after singing five services in 3.5 days.

7. Designing romanesque churches, playing antiquated computer games, and rereading A Clash of Kings all seem like much more worthwhile endeavors.

I going to drink now. (Well, like a glass.) Then sleeeeep.
choco_frosh: (Default)
OK, srsly world. Why is there not a "What is this I don't even" rubber stamp? Or perhaps one with "What the hell ass balls".

Such stamps should be issued, automatically and for free, to anyone who has to teach a writing-intensive course these days.

O, fml. I'm trying to cover Industrialization and 19th-c. ideological movements tomorrow, am't I. WHY did I think this was a good idea?
choco_frosh: (Default)
Things I have not had time to cover in this course (an incomplete list)

The Persian Empire (exc. in how they impacted other people)

99% of Classical mythology
Ionian philosophy
The other eight lyric poets*
The constitution of Sparta
Greek drama**

The history of bread
The Plinys
Pepper in the classical world*
The Huns
The Ostrogoths
John Cassian

Persian poetry

Early-medieval Ireland
Norse mythology*

* Mentioned in passing
** A student in one of the sections did a presentation on this,

choco_frosh: (Default)
I feel as though I ought to feel something about the Boston Marathon bombings; but after Oklahoma City, 9/11, Sandy Hook, and the rest, I've just gotten used to national tragedies; and I'm too caught up in personal tragedies. All I've got is profound relief that none of you got hit by scrapnel (err...right?); and the feeling that the following is a bit insignificant by comparison. But:

Things that are making me sad this evening:
- The amount I just agreed to spend on bike repair.
- The fact that it makes sense for this to be a higher priority than fixing (or indeed keeping) the Mob.
- The smell of malt on the wind, when I haven't felt like I could afford beer since Christmas.
- The quality of my students' papers. And following on from that,
a) the fact that the writing guide is now going to have to feature yet another warning: When writing on controversial topics, please be aware that the bar is higher for papers of this type. In addition, please check before finalizing your paper topic.
b) the several students who haven't submitted papers, and are going to fail in consequence.
- The fact that one of you referenced a song that I used to have on this computer, and which of course went down the tubes the last time I had to reboot the system.
choco_frosh: (Default)
The questions students ask, given some encouragement! The ones you can only begin to answer, partly because the answers are a tad complicated...

What culture came up with the concept of Hell?
Why did the no-self doctrine lose ground in China, while Buddhist concepts of Hell got elaborated?
Do we know how the Chinese of the Oracle Bones would have been pronounced?
Explain the differences among the Six Dynasties (between the Han and the Song)
choco_frosh: (Default)
This evening:
I'm drinking instant coffee. And trying to decide whether it's better or worse than the real stuff I brew.
I'm drinking coffee at all because I'm not sure how much sleep I'm gonna get. Midterm grades* are due tomorrow, and submitting those, in turn, means actually grading all the in-class essays I failed to get done this weekend. In addition, I promised myself that I would have their first *serious* writing assignment ready to go...and since I wanted to do my usual Document Analysis thang, but am now teaching world history instead of Western Civ., I have spent much of the past 36 hours bashing my head against Confucius to try to create for them a selection from the Analects encapsulating Master Kongzi's political philosophy.
All of this in addition to actually prepping for tomorrow's lecture.

...Aaand so I'm blogging. Of course.

My mind, meanwhile, has already skipped ahead to NEXT weekend, when I'll be hiking Owl's Head, aka the most hated mountain in New Hampshire, with my brother. (Although this expedition is going to be much less hardcore than I'd anticipated: with overnight temperatures of 29F forecast, Dan vetoed staying at a campsite, and is booking us a motel; and on the other hand, daytime temperatures are supposed to be non-ridiculous, and there will be NO mosquitoes.)

* We're less than halfway through the semester: it's just that Administration wants the students to have some warning about how well--or otherwise--they're doing.
choco_frosh: (Default)
- My Grandma just checked into the Christian Science nursing home in Boston. So...prayers for her, Grandpa, Mom, and everyone else involved are appreciated. I mean, Grandma's a tough old bird from a tough old family, and it's some sort of circulation problem (or something) which for anyone who believed in modern medicine* would be no problem, so she might surprise us all by emerging in a week fit as ever.
On the other hand, people do not normally emerge from the Christian Science nursing home.

- Whoa. Didn't mean for this post to be so heavy on the gloom. Today I was supposed to be reorganizing my syllabus; but once I finally dragged my lazy ass into work, the afternoon mostly got eaten by all the OTHER bureaucratic details. Still, at least I dealt with THEM.

- Conversation while wearing my doctoral gown:
SOMEBODY'S CUTE ASSISTANT: So, are you going to a graduation today...?
ME: No, but...I figure if all of you have the right to wear weird clothes, then so do I.
SCA: You are going to fit right in here.

- I also got the key to the new apartment today! So I guess we definitively have it, despite not having paid the security deposit or anything. I plan to start moving stuff over the day after tomorrow; I have spent part of this evening packing up the china.

- Meantime, I need to find a cider press. All the apples are in early this year, and I have collected all the sound windfalls from the tree in the quasi-park MECA leases.
Apples ftw.
I'll buy a capper as an early birthday present to myself.

* Heck, or in ancient, medieval, chinese, or any other version of medicine other than faith healing. Leaches might actually be a help in this case.

** On this occasion, there was also the important fact that wearing a doctoral gown sharply reduces the number of times people mistake you for a lost first-year.
choco_frosh: Made with the old "Mad Men yourself" image generator (mad men)
OK. Now I'm hired.

Which is a good thing (and thank you all for your good wishes!) But life is not universally sunny...

1) Being hired means I have to create a syllabus. From scratch, since I took a look at my predecessor's syllabi's like the left-wing equivalent of my predecessor at SNHU's. (As in, "This is kinda too much to expect of Freshmen, AND ...wait, is she trying to brainwash them?? On both counts, I don't think they have the critical thinking skills necessary...)

So. Um. Syllabus.

In three weeks.

Let alone the fact that teaching World History is a matter of trying to cram about three intro courses worth of history and historiography and basic critical thinking and text analysis into one unit. (Or as 'the Rhinoceros' put it, "The trick - and it's really hard - is to keep the students grounded as you hurl huge amounts of data at them.")
Hopefully I can get a discount on their textbook: it seems to be by far the least stupid option.

But still. Syllabus in three weeks. I suspect that by the end it's going to be a struggle not to bum cigarettes off my FUTURE students.

1a) Writing a syllabus effectively means I have an extra part-time job. For which I am not getting paid.
And while MECA's paying me more than I ever got paid as an adjunct, that's still only "ALMOST enough not to be insulting," and thus a long way still from "Enough that I can take three weeks off from temping and/or token job applications."
Which would be nice, given that I have to read three books, fret a lot, create a new quiz ex nihilo, design a course from the bottom up, get the textbook straightened out, find the additional readings, and deal with six kinds of bureaucratic crap.

[And naturally, this is the week I really have a yearning to go visit New Haven and/or climb a mountain. Boo.]

2) Did I mention that SNHU has taken me off their shortlist of online profs?
< breathe >
Well. We know where COCE can go, and what they can do there.

3) Peter will be joining me for the week after next. While I suppose this is a good thing, this means I will get no temping done, and that any course prep. will be done sitting outside my door in the interval between putting him to bed and crashing myself.

Oh, and
4) Summer(+ global warming) -> Hot -> High humidity -> Condensation in belowground areas -> all my stuff is growing mold.

On the plus side...well, various relatives will be helping me wrangle Peter, and I got interviewed for a p/t NON-canvassing job with Environment Maine. (If I get it, between it and MECA and some temping/random commissions, I'll actually be making enough to be solidly in the black, AND keep my sanity.) Fingers crossed...


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