Sunday, August 24, 2008
The Countdown Begins...
T-minus...22 hours and counting. Until my first class tomorrow. I'm still in denial about this, but I need to get my arse up to campus and get arranged for the beginning of the semester.
I have....(*wait for it!*)....105 students this semester. As Medieval Pop would say, "that's more students than you can shake a stick at!" But I actually think I could still shake a stick at that many students.
Here at the Dream Academy, we have big classes - there are a lot of students and we need our grad students to teach comp, so there aren't any TA's really. It's lovely b/c I can teach only courses in my field, but they're BIG courses. We have a 3/2 load, but in your "3" semester, you teach a larger section of a 200-level survey course (for us, Med-Ren). It's not quite 2 solid courses - that would be 80 students - but a course-and-a-half with 65 students in it. This is my "3" semester - next semester I'll teach a grad course and an upper class majors course on the exact same thing.
Large classes like this means that I have to get more creative about papers - I cannot grade over 100 4-5 page "close reading" papers and 3 exams. T'ain't happenin'! So, for my large class, I have them doing an exercise involving the Ox. Eng. Dict. It won't be as easy to plagiarize and will be a whiz for me to grade, I hope.
I love the fact that I'm teaching at the same school again this year - after hopping around for the last 3 years, always starting at a new university in the fall, this brings a kind of stability that I didn't know would mean so much. Both of these classes I taught last year, so I can tweak them according to my experience with them last year. No more trying to figure out an entirely new university culture!
So, it's once more into the same breach. And that makes the sting of a new school year beginning a little less stingy.