Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Halfway Through Week Two

I’m halfway through the second week of school, and I feel … calm. Balanced. Content.
The realist in me knows this can’t last, but the optimist in me (admittedly a very small part of my personality) is hoping it will.
Work is going well, and school is going well. At work, I’ve put together the development-season schedule for documentation, and I’ve begun working on some of the preliminary “what’s-new-this-year” documents that we’ll eventually supply to our Education and Support departments. Most of my job lately, however, has been a hodgepodge of smaller projects: editing some internal procedures, building a software patch or two, updating our intranet, editing articles for the company blog, etc. It’s been busy, but not overwhelmingly so. And that’s been nice. I like when work is this way.
School is going well, too; of course, I haven’t had to grade any major assignments yet. The stress will escalate pretty quickly when I the first drafts come in after Labor Day. I’m not looking forward to that; I have no contingency plans. My plan is to take everything one day at a time, and, if I have to pay the babysitter overtime and make the day last 18 hours so I can get all the grading done, then that’s just what I’ll have to do.
Something tells me that, by the end of this semester, I will be an expert in speed-grading of essays. Maybe. I can’t imagine grading a three-page essay in less than 20 minutes, but maybe I’ll work my way down to 15 minutes per essay. I’ll need to, or I’ll never sleep.
I’ve been making notes to myself after each class session this semester. So far, classes seem to be going really well, though they’ve turned out to be more teacher-centric and lecture-heavy than I want them to be. I want students writing and discussing and learning; I hate to stand in front of the room, flapping my mouth.
I’ve made an effort these last few days to talk less and have students contribute more. I think we’ll get more into that style of class as the semester progresses; at this point, we’re covering a lot of introductory information—what is a thesis statement, how revising is different from proofreading, etc.—so I’m explaining basic terms more than I’ll need to in the future.
So that’s my little update on life as a hack and a grunt.

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