Sunday, May 4, 2008

Huzzahs! I got through the first week of classes! My classes are both quite full this semester . . . seventeen students in my upper-division writer's workshop, and nineteen(!) students in my graduate literature seminar. I think the classes are both off to a good start. I always have these over-inflated, idyllic, and perfected notions of how the first day of class will go, but in reality, what with the awkwardness of students not knowing me, or each other, and the tedium of reviewing the syllabus and other administrative details, it's never all that scintillating when all is said and done.

There's a new computerized room scheduling system here at BFE University, and so room scheduling was still in flux on the actual first day of classes. My afternoon class was abruptly changed an hour before the class meeting. Apparently, it was initially scheduled to take place in a broom closet!

I really like the students in both my classes, though . . . I'm actually very glad to be back teaching. I think I've missed that particular energy, that trickle of excitement when a class is going really well. All in all, I think it's going to be a good semester.

Saw a (way-too-young-for-me-former-student) crush (heretofore known as Inappropriate Crush Object) at a local literary event last week and was completely overcome by lust and idiocy. She came and sat down right in front of me, and her jeans slipped down just far enough that I could see a small sliver of striped underwear fetish. As a result, I felt too distracted to talk to her in anything other than vague monosyllables . . . or to even enjoy any mild and harmless flirtation. In short, I majorly gorked out. (Hard to believe, I know!) The Inappropriate Crush Object is off to an out-of-state school now, and I think that's undoubtedly for the best. Dear readers, have any of you developed an Inappropriate Crush Object, and if so, how did you handle it?

I've been getting up early enough in the mornings that I can write for a bare minimum of two hours before eating an early lunch, getting ready, and going in to school. In the past, I haven't really tried to write before teaching (instead, using that time to grade/prep/worry/fret), but I think that it will be good for me to get my writing done early in the day while I'm still fresh. Also, I'm trying to be super efficient/organized with all of my time at the office so that I can designate certain non-teaching days as writing-exclusive days. I think that if I'm really smart about it, I should be able to pull off at least one such day per week. I'm wanting to be more energy-efficient about the teaching . . . still strive to do an excellent job, of course, but definitely lop off the excess and unnecessary worrying/obsessing, and time wasted by procrastination and self-flagellation. Instead, I'm just going to give myself less time to do the grading/prepping/worrying/fretting, and trust that I'll get it done within this smaller window of allotted time. That, and I'm also going to stop feeling guilty about using old course designs/preps! I'll still revise as necessary, yes, but I need to stop thinking it's lazy not to always be struggling over a completely new course design. (I've designed/taught eight different courses--three of which were graduate literature seminars--in the three years I've taught here, so I think it's really okay for me to reuse, renew, and recycle at this point.)

So . . . I'm now off to go drink copious amounts of beer at an informal faculty pub gathering. After which, I'm going meet a friend to see Fahrenheit 911, which has finally made it here to Bum Fuck Egypt (before it was released on DVD, amazingly enough!), and then, apres-movie, we'll go meet more/different faculty at a different pub, and I will then imbibe yet even more beer. Cheers!