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!