This has been reading week: a break from teaching at the U. Ideally, all of the hours freed up by that (and we’re talking a buttload of hours since I’m teaching three undergrad classes, one grad seminar and a graduate directed readings course) would go straight into marking and writing.
Funny thing about plans: they sometimes run smack-dab into the evil force we like to call reality. Or, as the Another Damned Notorious Writing Group’s dubbed it, I’ve been OBE: Overcome by Events.
The furnace is dying. This necessitates a surprising amount of work on the part of homeowners who have to research furnace companies, wait for their visits, sit through long listings of options and ponder the results. Extra bonus points for homeowners who live in Canada where there’s a current government rebate program for energy efficient home upgrades. Our house got an energy audit this week which was an interesting an informative exercise that comes with some homework. I get to learn how to replace the gasket on the attic door while Mike replaces the sweep on the front and garage entry doors, among other things.
Then there was a large piece of furniture that committed suicide, requiring replacement. One kid called in sick after another had to be ferried around town on a bureaucratic outing to do with medical coverage.
This afternoon was the long-term service celebration at the university where yours truly was commended for twenty years on the job. Which is nice, and all, but I’ve got to write like the wind to meet my deadline now! And let’s not even talk about how some of the students will likely feel a twinge of disappointment that I’m not going to have their essays back on Tuesday (although I’ve finished marking the grad papers and am almost done with the midterms for Monday).
How have your ideals and realities been matching up this week?
6 responses to “Ideals and Realities”
Oh, just call me, and we can trade stories! You would not friggin’ believe. One of the highlights was two and a half hours advising ONE student. Also? 13 emails to straighten out course offerings for my department and the department which offers a cross-listed course with one in my department. AND IT’S STILL NOT RIGHT!
Gah! I am so sorry to hear this. A student who needs two and a half hours of your time would probably have been best advised to set up a meeting with the registrar and dean, I’d think. And boo for the cross-listing problems. No fair!
Ooops. But I shall not lie: my teaching ideals were challenged (and compromised) but otherwise, my plans were exceeded by reality in all but one area: cleaning my house.
House-cleaning is worse for the morale than marking; the forces of entropy always win. You have my sympathies!
I heard you have a new kitten. Can we have pictures, please?
Pictures will be coming soon! Probably for Caturday, er, Saturday, if not earlier.