Wednesday, September 12, 2007

On the Mend

It is true (I think, fingers crossed, etc.). I think that the worst of the Horrible Cold of 2007 is over. How do I know this? Well. First, I'm actually feeling energized about teaching tomorrow, and I'm about to finish up prep for one of my classes. This means that I'm not just lying around in my bed. A definite improvement. I am also breathing through my nose. Solid.

But really the thing that let me know that I was feeling better was that I was actually excited by an email that I received about my spring teaching schedule. Now, I'd planned on asking whether I could reconfigure my classes in the Spring, mainly because I'm totally burnt out on one course I've taught since my arrival here. The general rule in my department is that you get one upper-level course and three service courses to make up your four-course load. So, I've been in talks with the person who does the scheduling, and the spring schedule was finalized today.

You'll notice that I'm talking about teaching four courses, something I've not done throughout the time I've kept this blog. The run of course releases may indeed be up for me, since I've vowed not to take on any major (or otherwise) research projects this spring. Except that there is a possibility to get a course release for a thing through the College that they're talking about doing. I'm certain that if I want to participate in this thing that I have a strong likelihood of sailing right through the application process. But do I want to? Well, with the four-course schedule I've devised, I'm in no way certain of that.

Why? Because I might have gotten myself the best schedule possible in the whole world. I will teach only Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. That's right folks, for the first time ever I will not have a 5-day-a-week teaching schedule. (I should note that this is preferable particularly because I will not be doing research. When I'm doing research, I think the 5-day week actually works better for me.) I will teach my upper-level course first on T/H, followed by 2 sections of my most favoritest service course that I teach, and there will be a break for lunch between the sections. I will then teach ONE OF MY OTHER FAVORITE CLASSES (so favorite that I don't even think of it as a service course, though technically it is) as a one-day-a-week-er (which is actually awesome given the film stuff I do in there) on Wednesdays. So three courses that I *know* I love already, another course I'm teaching for the first time that I'm sure to love for my upper-level one, and a FOUR DAY FUCKING WEEKEND EVERY SINGLE WEEK! Now, obviously I'll need to work on Mondays and Fridays, too, and obviously I'll be pretty spent Tuesday through Thursday. BUT. I feel like this is a *brilliant* schedule, and I've got to say, if the possibility for a course release would mean that I'd need to be around on Mondays and/or Fridays, I'd totally rather teach the fourth course.

One reason that this schedule is so brilliant, I should note, is that if anything promising reveals itself when the job list appears, I will apply for some things this year. Although I'm superstitious enough to know that sending out an application or two will not necessarily grant me even the possibility of a campus visit, I do feel like it's preferable to have a schedule that could accommodate such a windfall were I to apply for something and to make it that far in the process. That said, being granted such an awesome schedule makes me wonder why in god's name I'd want to leave this job, as really, I've got a really great gig. Sure, it's a heavy teaching load, but my department is SO HUMANE in how it organizes that heavy teaching load, and let's be honest: I'm used to it now. What this means is that I'm not even going to consider applying anywhere with a teaching load above a 3/2. Since this is the case, I suspect my chances of getting very far in the interview process will be dramatically reduced, even if I do apply, but who knows. I'm no fortune-teller so I'll just need to see what appears when the list comes out, and then see what happens if/when/where I choose to apply.

Another reason that this schedule is so brilliant is that it means that I will be able to do some personal-type travel in the spring if I so choose to do so. Something I've never really been able to manage during the academic year without a good amount of stress. At any rate, I suppose the bottom line is, HURRAY!


Mel said...

glad you're on the mend! and the four-day weekend is AWESOME.

Tara Kuther said...

Yay! I've been on that schedule for the past 5 years or so and it's awesome -- really keeps you from getting completely fried on the 4/4. Congrats!