Thursday, October 21, 2010

My Days

Nighttime is the only time that I have for myself.  In the morning, I'm up by 6.  Me ready, her ready, do we have everything?  Out the door at 7:15.  Quiet her fussing while we sit on the bridge in traffic (daily I wonder what the steps would be if the bridge collapsed.  Is everyone that fatalistic?)

I try to drop her off around 7:45, and that puts me on campus around 8:00.  Any earlier, and she has to go into a room with a teacher that's not her normal teacher, and I try to keep her dropoff as standard as possible.  Any later, and I don't feel prepared for 9:00 class.

Check email, deal with student stuff, what am I doing in class and the lab that is right after?  Do I have copies?  Is the quiz written?  Do I have enough Scantron forms?

Time enough for a tweet, then down the hall to the classroom.  Start the computer and the projector, while being mobbed with random questions - do they not understand this is not an appropriate time?  Open the file, start the slide show, is it 9:10?  Good, we can start.

Hour and 15 minutes of them trying to be engaged with detailed, difficult content.  Me: waving my arms trying to demonstrate molecules diffusing down their concentration gradient.  Them: trying not to look bored because they've tuned me out.

10:25.  End lecture, lab in 10 minutes down the hall.  Hit ESC to get out of the slide show, close powerpoint, eject the thumb drive, turn off the projector, log off the computer, erase the board, gather my notes.  If only it were really that simple, but I am again mobbed with people that don't understand that I have told them I don't have time for questions between lecture and lab.  It's usually the ones with an excuse why they have to miss lab, or can they turn something else in late, etc.  So I'm having to explain and enforce class policy while getting my shit together to get out of the room.

Dump the stuff from lecture on my desk to sort out later, because I grab the folder for lab just before my 10 minutes is up.  Lab sheets, model keys, a quiz.  Here's what you're doing today, I'll be around to help while you work on it.  I pace around the room, answering mundane (and occasionally inane) questions for two hours.  I now amuse myself, and try to teach them how to find the answers to their own questions, by doing the following.  Student: so how do I know what slides to look at today?  Me:  what does your lab handout say?  Student:  I don't know, I haven't read it yet.  (Looks at the lab sheet).  Oh, ok, that makes sense.  Another Student: Can you tell me what this part is?  And this part?  And this part?  And this part?  Me: Do you have a copy of the model key?  Student: Oh, is that what that is for?

12:35.  Lab is over, and the last students have filtered out.  Do I put models and slides away now, or run and get a bite to eat now and clean later?

Drive to get fast food lunch, because I'm definitely not the queen of brown bagging (I'm hoping that Project Vegetarian changes this).  Back to campus to clean off my desk, clean the lab, what's next?  Look at the to-do list.  Make calls, prepare for the next day, post stuff to Blackboard.  2:00 is Open Lab.  Usually there's just one or two students.  So, I have to be out there in the lab to help them.  When I was in the middle of getting something accomplished in my office that I'd like to finish.  I feel like this particular hour and a half is definitely a waste of time.  The students that are attending open lab so far this semester have been the upper level students anyway.  They don't need the extra time, they're doing fine in the class anyway.  The students that screw around during lab time, and probably need the extra open lab time?  Nowhere to be found.

3:30 Open Lab is over.  I have an hour to finish whatever I was working on, be sure to be prepared for the next day's class, and then I can go get the Wee One.

Listen to her cry back across the bridge because the late-day sun is in her eyes, she's asking for juice, and she'd rather NOT be strapped into her carseat for another 20 minutes.

Home - snack of juice and cheese while I fix dinner.  After dinner, she plays with her plastic stuff while I clean up (sort of).  Read a book, take a bath, bedtime routine.

She's asleep.  Now time to write whatever it is that I need to write for the class I'm TAKING.  Or do my mommy internet stuff.

I should go to bed.  But given that this is the only time in my entire life when there aren't huge demands hanging over my head, I think I'll sit at the computer and tweet and blog and read and write and facebook and attempt to relax a little.

So when does the tenure notebook get written, the college's safety manual get reviewed, and/or the local chapter of the Association of Women in Science (that I am supposed to be starting) get organized?  Not during these days, at any rate.

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