Ready, Set…

Second semester of my first year in the doctorate program has just gotten underway as of this morning, so it seemed as good a time as any to pop up out of the churning waves, gasping and flailing, to attempt a more consistent blogging schedule. This semester I am no longer an adjunct in the dark; instead I am a writing tutor in the dark, so in theory there should be more time without all that pesky grading. But the title of gradstudentinthedark still firmly remains as an implied subtitle, so I’m sure there will be plenty of madness to fill these pages.

I am reassured of this fact by the following information:
-My house is an absolute mess.
-My countertops are invisible under a pile of dirty dishes and tins of tea.
-You could knit a rather nice sweater out of the amount of cat hair in my house.
-I just figured out my schedule…today, for the semester that started…today.
-I still don’t actually know what I’m supposed to do for the other half of my job.
-It’s the first Monday and I’m already upset I have to go to work tomorrow.
-…this is only the first day of the semester.

See? Plenty of chaos. Some of it might not even be whining. But writing tutoring is also a brand new experience, one which will bring me into contact with the ranks of students beyond my freshman composition classes. And there is just nothing about that that promises any sort of awful normality.

And speaking of sleep in the worst segue ever, this is a thing I should do. Because if you can’t be well-rested for Monday, tell it to bugger off and shoot for Tuesday instead.

A happy belated new-year for anyone still hanging around in the void-that-is-the-blog. I hope to bring you tales of strange chaos and utter madness soon.

Be well!

Please don’t Tell my Class I Need Male Enhancement…

blah blah haven’t been around in ages have missed so many stories bad blogger busy PHD student blah.

 

Now that that’s all out of the way, hello again all.  School is exhausting, so I haven’t been able to get here as often as I’d like.  But this morning was a classic, and just needed to be shared with the internet at large.

 

So, in the classes I teach, there is a multimedia component, and in my class, we are making podcasts.  We’ve been in conferences/library sessions all week, so today was their first chance to workshop their stuff.  I brought in some samples of podcasts for them to listen to, and played them directly from my laptop, because it fills me with an unidentifiable terror to let a student navigate the computer we can see on the big screens.

 

We were moving on through our sample audio clips, when I hear the incoming mail chime.  Now, for most this is not a big deal.  Except when you use Mac’s new notification center, it…kind of is.  This announces, for all who have ears to hear, who your mail is from.

 

It also does this for all incoming spam.

 

Now, I’ve been a little unfair, in that I’m leading you all on in the sense that no my class did not hear about someone wanting to give me larger junk, or about pills that will mak her luv me long time–they just heard an innocuous message from a harmless organization I’m a part of.  But the thought that they would hear about penis enlargement or Russian prostitutes and think I was gross, or, worse, hear an Email from my online dating years and think I was a sad lonely cat lady… it was enough to make one shudder.

 

So, as my sendoff, a word to the wise: turn off your screen reader when you are in front of students, because the Canadian pharmacy people are just *waiting* for you to give them an opening.

 

Unrelated PSA2: your cute teacherly outfit becomes less cute and less teacherly when there are puddles outside above your ankles, and the weight of your wet dress starts dragging down low enough to fear for public decency.  Just thought y’all’d wanna know.

 

Adjunct out.

Catch-up

…should I even bother apologizing?  At this point, I don’t think so.

Okay, it was a weird semester.  That senior-itus I mentioned before hit with a vengeance, and I’m still working on feeling like a productive member of society.  I predict bad teacher reviews this semester, but I’m trying to take my lumps, hoping someone learned something, and will call this my low point, and things will get better from here.  Right? Right?

 

So what does that have to do with this blog?  Nothing, really.  But if I’m neglecting to give my students the proper attention, what made you guys think you had a prayer?  But I’m going to try to turn this into a weekly thing, since I apparently really need a schedule.  So I’ll try to post every week, to bestow upon you such wisdom as comes to me when I am strolling down the hall, feeling academic, and thinking “hmmm, I should bestow this on my blog.”

 

*Works on developing academic ego*.

 

I will share one of these wise thoughts, which came to me after I left my purse in someone’s car this morning:

 

Students, pay close attention to the garments of your adjunct.  If she always dresses like a bum, she is either very comfortable, or she does not care.  If she has been at the university for less than a year, she may still be laboring under the impression that she is your buddy.  Take full and vicious advantage of this.  If she always dresses nice, she is fully camouflaged, and you are screwed.  You will actually have to pay attention to her face or something.

 

But here is the real secret.  If she generally looks put together, like she brushed her hair and at least more often than not has made a passing acquaintance with a blazer and a pencil skirt, watch closely.  If she comes to school in heels, with her hair nicely done and adorable shoes, she is fragile and breakable.  Center-of-the-line folk, like myself, don’t over-state it too often. We do like to look nice, because it’s what you should do.  But pencil skirts and heels are not comfortable.  So if we show up like this is a job interview, we are drowning in insecurity or misery.  If you are kind students, this is your chance to be sweet.  Pay us a compliment, don’t talk while we are talking, try to say something that lets us know we are somewhat decent at our jobs.

 

If you are not kind, well, it’s a skirt/heels day today, so just imagine that you have the power to make us weep like small children, but we have the power to fail you.  So consider carefully.

 

Now, I have to go make the all-important decision whether to grade presentations or eat lunch.  This requires all my attention, which means that I will talk to you lovely folks later.

 

…if you’re actually still here.

Grammar and Fashion Woes

You’ll notice that I left out that comma up there, leaving that title very ambiguous.  Look at me being all teacher-y.

So we covered grammar on Tuesday, or, more importantly, we covered commas.  I think that, if I wasn’t fearing mutiny before, I should be fearing it now.  Take a bunch of 18-year-olds, trap them in a room for an hour and 40 minutes, and ram a bunch of confusing punctuation rules down their throats, and you’re just asking for trouble.  At the end I asked them what about grammar they wanted to learn about in later class periods, and I actually waited for an answer.  After some mutterings, I got the “well, you’re the teacher, we all hate this. So it’s your job to figure out what we’re supposed to learn.”  …okay then.  If y’all want a dictator, then a dictator you shall have (but in retrospect asking the question in the first place was sort of a bad call on my part. They’re like puppies–they want structure, even if they don’t know it).

I think it went  *mostly* alright though.  They won’t remember anything, except maybe the comma splice, but we have the rest of the semester to work on it.  I was supposed to cover parts of speech today, but considering the restless stirring of the troops, I decided it was time to switch tactics.  We’re sort of in creative writing mode today, with a game included, so hopefully that will go better.

Then again, I’m introducing their first paper today, so I may have already shot myself in the foot.  Like a coward, I am waiting until the class has already begun to send out the assignment sheet.

What, they’re intimidating…

But, to inspire confidence in myself, I did dress the part to be a professor today (yes, this is where we get to the fashion woes).  Bought a new jacket, and it practically has freaking elbow patches.  Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I own a BLAZER.  I am a MATURE ADULT.

…And, as I very maturely strode across the street to catch the bus to work, I ripped the back stitch out of my pencil skirt.

 

Lesson learned: one should not stride maturely in a skirt that normally makes it a challenge to climb stairs.

It’s just a sort of decorative split in the lower quarter of the back of the skirt, so it’s not like I’ll be stuck showing my nickers to the college at large, but I feel so much less put together with my flap… flapping.  But here in lies the advantage to being a blind professor: I don’t have to turn my back on them to write on the chalkboard.  So unless some little creep is intentionally staring at my butt, I’m pretty much home free. Win.

Hey, I take my victories where I can get them.  You rip your skirt on the way to work and see what you have left to work with.

Now, off to drink tea and write the rest of this lesson plan, enjoying the fact that it’s like 60 degrees outside, and therefore not a furnace in my office.

Welcome to fall.

 

ETA: FIRST PAYDAY OMG YAY!