First Day of School

So, this last week was super stressful with apartment searching, working OT at the BPO, scraping enough money together for a deposit on the apartment, and stressing out about school, but I did finally find an apartment and I got my syllabus into good enough shape to give the first half of it to my students this morning, with the promise that I’d give them the second half next Monday (which is when the full syllabus is due to the Composition staff). I arrived at school around 9:30 and the parking lots were already almost full, but luckily as an adjunct I have the coveted Faculty/Staff parking tag* and I was able to park in the front lot. I printed my syllabus out at the library. The libraries no longer have ludicrous print delays because one now has a limited number of free printouts (something like 600) as opposed to unlimited free printouts. People used to just print out everything– we printed out the first two issues of name on school printers– and wait times used to be outrageous, 48 hours sometimes during midterms or finals. Anyway, everything went flawlessly and I went to my first class, which was full of absolute freshmen– undeclared majors in their first class on their first day of college. Quite amazing. It’s almost hard to even imagine what that’s like– I don’t remember– I think my first college class ever was a huge lecture, World Civilizations with Don McGuire, with whom I’m still friends. It’s a lot of pressure to be someone’s first college teacher ever. I tried to ease their minds. ENG 101 isn’t a difficult class, and I’ve got it down to where I ask them to do a minimum amount of work for maximal reward, because I hate busywork and I certainly wouldn’t ask anyone else to do it. Every lesson has impact, or I try to make it have impact. Anyway, I think they felt a bit less intimidated by college after the class. Then I had an hour break–what in future weeks will be my office hours– before my second class. None of the other adjuncts assigned to the little office we share seemed to be keeping office hours at the same time, which is good. I think it’s interesting to have two classes with the same lesson plan, because you can revise what you did poorly in the first class for the second class and that revision takes effect immediately, one can see the impact immediately. My second class was a scheduled Architecture majors block, and I love architecture so this is really exciting for me. I hope to learn something from them. I also liked the Architecture kids because they seemed really active and fun. I get a kick out of energetic students. I only hope I can, as I have in the past, harness that energy to create great results in their writing.

Being in front of the classroom again reminded me how much I love teaching. It’s a situation in which my nerdy interests, my strange formal style of speaking, my intensity and intelligence and leadership and attention to detail and compassion and enthusiasm all fit into one activity and are not “weird,” but are in fact not only useful but ideal. Who wants an English teacher who’s stupid, doesn’t speak correctly, lacks detail, is shy or self-effacing, or doesn’t listen to her students’ needs? All of the things that make me weird, annoying, and otherwise unfit for many social situations make me a great teacher. Hooray!

After work I called HR about signing up for health and retirement benefits, took a nap, and went to work at the BPO. After this blog entry, I’m calling it a day. Tomorrow I’ll be packing to move, inspecting the apartment now that its tenant has moved out and telling the landlord what I think should be fixed before I move in, and going to work again.

*The Faculty/Staff parking tag this year is orange. The first parking tag I ever had at UB, my sophomore year, was orange. I’ve kept it for when the colors recycle and the Faculty parking tag is orange… I thought it would happen sooner than this, and that as a student I’d get by with free parking. But now that enough time has elapsed that the parking tag is orange, I have my own legitimate Faculty/Staff tag!

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7 Responses to First Day of School

  1. Matt says:

    “I tried to ease their minds.”

    When I first read that, I thought it said, “I tried to erase their minds.” Cool! I thought. Then I realized my mistake.

  2. muse says:

    Hey honey. I’m glad that your first day went well. :)

  3. Helen says:

    Now you and your orange tag are going to come to school every day and find that another secret tag-recycler has taken your space :-S

  4. @Matt the erasure comes later…

    @Helen ha! i don’t think anyone’s been at Buffalo as long as I have. That old orange tag is from 1999-2000! And I don’t think anyone else would’ve thought, then, “I’m going to hang on to this until the colors circle back around.” it really took a long time for them to do so, too.

    What I really need is an “A” (high-level administration) parking tag. They’re always red. They get to park right by the buildings.

  5. muse says:

    hey dreammuffin!! ;)

    i don’t know what’s happening. is everything ok?? i don’t understand this sudden lapse of communication. i just want to know that everything is ok. i trust that you would tell me if anything is wrong. i just want to know if you are alright. i care.

    i will help you move on thursday. i love you. always.

  6. Brian, the only thing that’s wrong is that I asked you to leave me alone for awhile and you haven’t been able to respect that at all. It seems you can’t let even a few hours go by without vying for my attention in some way. I don’t want to be in a relationship with you anymore. Thanks for respecting this decision.

  7. LIOTE says:

    I Love you all for what you’ve all said, but I will not love you forever for what you have failed to admit.

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