Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Almost at the Halfway Point! Huzzah!

Spring Break is next week people! Next week! The sun is shining, my teaching load this week is considerably lightened because I've got library instruction scheduled in two classes and a midterm in another. Sure, it's only 14 degrees, but spring! Spring is coming! And after spring comes summer!

Now, it's true: I'm still feeling like I'm drowning a bit with all of the department service stuff and with the research stuff that I'm basically ignoring. And in addition to the teaching that I'm scheduled for, I'm sponsoring like 4 students in research projects and advising one senior thesis. So the next 9 weeks will not be "easy" but time marches forward! This, too, shall pass!

In other news, I'm irritated with my hair. I think that the shift in hairstyle that happened a couple of months ago was a bit of a miscalculation, and I'm wondering what to do next. I could, without a huge amount of effort, return to the style that I most recently left. Or I could go shorter, which I've been wanting to do for a while, but I'd like to be thinner before I do that. Or I could just suck it up with this haircut, because the reality is that part of my irritation with it is that I'm growing out bangs, and so if I can just make it through the next while, all of my work to this point with the growing out of the bangs won't be for nothing. But then I think, do I really look good without bangs? I feel like I might look better with bangs....

Aside from concerns about my hair, I think things are actually going really well right now. I've been feeling really proud of the work that I've been doing in the classroom (especially with an awesome group activity that I came up with last week and that really did everything a good activity is supposed to do), and I think that something has shifted in my approach in the classroom wherein I'm more relaxed and "fun" as a teacher. I've been feeling this shift for a while, but I really think that I'm mellowing into a different identity as a teacher lately... one in which I'm still tough but in which I'm becoming much more transparent about why I'm tough, and where I'm much more open with my students about who I am and where I'm coming from. I think that this mellowing has a lot to do with confidence and with the fact that I'm feeling more authority - rather than less - in my role as teacher. I'm less afraid to take risks and to put myself out there in the classroom. Perhaps tenure plays a role in this? Or maybe that I'm just getting older and so authority issues are less in play?

I'm still feeling... a bit at sea with the committee work nonsense, but I think that things are moving forward positively. I think that part of my problem in seeing that over the past week or so has had a lot to do with my innate impatience. Sometimes I can make the mistake of thinking that because things aren't happening as quickly as I'd like that they're not happening at all. In this case, at least, I don't think that this is true. I think, probably, that any discomfort I've been feeling has to do that I'm learning a lot through this process, and I'm being forced to exercise skills that haven't been central to the work that I do in the rest of my job. (Not that I don't have to be patient as a teacher, but in teaching I'm in charge, whereas in this area, I'm not, not really, which changes the dynamic and changes how I go about different tasks.)

So anyway. I think that's all I've got on this Tuesday morning. Coming soon (because I'm trying not to be a vortex of negativity on this blog) I suspect there will be an update on the Man-Kitty and his partner in crime, Mr. Stripey. Sure, cat blogging might not be "professional" or whatever, but don't we all need a break from the drama every once in a while? I think that we do.

1 comment:

Belle said...

Hair: I always muck with hair when I need a pick-me-up. Mistakes are always easy to rectify (it does grow out) so I generally color/cut for a fast easy boost. You could go try on wigs to see various looks? Or... be daring. Go for it! I'm about there myself; should I color? Cut? Shave it all off for summer?

Tenure does play a role in risk within the classroom, doesn't it? Also experience - now you've the security in position to take advantage of your experience. (Or so I tell self).

Let's just call this vague questioning spring fever and enjoy it eh?