Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Lions and Tigers and Syllabi, Oh My!

Well, I suppose there aren't really lions and tigers... just two sweet kitties, one of whom is on my lap and purring happily while he watches me type. There are, however, syllabi.

Yesterday, I finalized two of the four, sent them to be copied and everything, and just now I think I've got the survey syllabus sorted. One thing I've noticed - even though I've got four preps this semester - is how much easier this whole getting the syllabi together thing is. See, I've taught 2 of the four classes over and over again and one class I've only taught once before but it is, basically, The Class of the Book, so there isn't much that needs to be tweaked with it. Can I just note that once one has courses "in the can" as it were, that this whole part of things is so much more quickly accomplished? Also, once one has more experience with translating courses to different blocks of time (one course I'm doing as a one-day-a-week-er for the first time in a while) even that isn't so hard to manage?

I suppose a lot of my feeling that this is easy comes from the fact that I'm a lot more experienced now with how to do this crap. Also, I'm a lot more secure in knowing what students will reasonably achieve in the course of a semester, and so it's not so hard to figure out how to shift stuff from 2 or 3 days a week into one day a week. I know that the one-day-a-week class will pose some challenges for them (they will NOT like the amount of reading per week in some weeks, as they glance at the syllabus) but you know, sometimes we have to do things that we don't like. And I know that they can do it, and that I'm not being unreasonable. This is what they get for taking a class that meets once a week only.

At any rate, this means that the big task I've got to accomplish between now and the start of school is the totally not ready new prep, but with these other classes out of the way, I'm feeling ok about that.

I know this is a boring post, but I needed a break to process what I'm doing and what I still need to do. In other news, the Tiger (aka Mr. Stripey) tired of sitting on my lap and relocated to a much more comfortable syllabus. Here he is! (And yes, he really has gotten much bigger!)

Oh, and here's a picture from when the Interloper was still in the house, which also demonstrates Mr. Stripey's increase in size. You can't really tell, but he was trying to comfort the Man-Kitty by giving him a bath.


The Adjunct Professor said...

You mean you really find preparing syllabi boring? I thought this was one of the most enjoyable tasks. Actually, unlike some of my colleagues, I have found that a detailed syllabus actually serves me well.

I agree that it takes me less time now than in the past but I do feel that the time I put in to this task proves to be rewarding come the end of the semester.

Dr. Crazy said...

Course design = fun and interesting
The actual writing of syllabi = well, not boring, but not terribly enjoyable or interesting, at least not for me.

I think it's that I get annoyed by things like the changing the dates, or making a set of readings that fits in one semester fit into another semester where in theory there are the same # of weeks but the number of class meetings differs, etc.

Time put in on designing a course is definitely exciting, interesting, and rewarding - what I describe above just doesn't fit into that category for me, though. There's just nothing terribly interesting about checking to make sure the link to the honor code is still up to date, or in writing up the bibliographic information for the required texts. (Clearly I am so not a detail person :) )

Dr. Crazy said...

Oh, and however interesting putting syllabi together can be, posting about it in the way that I did... wicked boring :)

Sisyphus said...

Stripes! Cute! Yay!

Syllabi work, also good, but not overwhelming with cuteness.