Month: August 2010

What did I get myself into?

So I told you guys that I was having my students create their own blog. Why? You might ask. Well, I thought it would be a great way for them to get into the habit of writing. I’ve never done anything like this before and am freakin’ out because I’m just starting to realize how absolutely huge this project is, not so much for my students, but for me.

I teach 3 sections, all of which have 29 students. You do the math, that’s a lot of blogs to keep up with. I’m not so worried about that. That’s way google reader will help me with, I’m mostly concerned about monitoring the commenting that is going on.

I have  a lot of students and a lot of blogs and I’m totally clueless as to how to monitor all these blogs effectively, efficiently, and fairly (yeah adverbs).

The students will begin posting on Tuesday, so I have about 6 days to figure it out.

Oh did I mention, I’ll be blogging with them. Again, I’m insane. I wanted them to have some kind of model to look onto, and to have a space where they could comment if they felt nervous about commenting on peer blogs.

So far the reception to this project has been mostly negative. The students–most of them–are not eager to do this project partly because they think it’s busy work and partly because it’s something new which is scary to them. There have been some students who have expressed a lot of interest and I’m thinking these students will make the most of this project and get the most from it.

On a side note, I still don’t have an office space and will be posting pictures of my little space. The boyfriend and I will be building a desk this evening–when I say the boyfriend and I, I mostly mean the boyfriend. I’m looking forward to having a neat space to keep my work organize.

By the way, there is a deadline for a short story contest today and I’m scrambling to get it done. Lord have mercy.

Any suggestions on how to make this blogging project a success?

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A Day in the Life

What I’m about to type actually happened in my classroom, forcing me to almost pee pants as I began to laugh with my students. It’s these kinds of moments that make me love teaching.

We were discussing a Newsweek article about Facebook. This discussion led us to a subject very closely related to the very Orwellian society we are living in. So I asked:
ME: Have any of you read 1984?
Students: Blank looks and silence, some heads shaking no.
ME: No one?
Student: In case you ain’t noticed yet Ms. [Insert my name here], we ain’t no readers in this class.

I love my job.

Help! I Need an Office Space

So when you adjunct you don’t get an office–well aside from the shared one. Right now, my kitchen table is office della One Mean MFA. I’ve been really trying to avoid buying furniture because everything I move in, must come out eventually.

Still, not having a teacher space is really not working for me. I just don’t know how to create an efficient space to work in without making this apartment seem overcrowed.

If I post pictures of my little apartment will you guys help me with the space. I’ll also put links up to the Ikea desk I’m considering.

What do you think? Should I post pics?

First Week of Classes Down–15 More to Go!

So this week began my journey as an adjunct instructor. So far, I’m liking it. I’m not digging the psuedo-office with two desks that I’m sure will aways be occupied–although the shared office at the other school I work for is a bit bigger I am sure it’s going to be a lot of the same. I’ll probably hold my office hours in a gazebos outdoors when the weather turns.

My second teaching job starts on Tuesday. I’m pretty stoked to be getting into the grove of it all.  On the first day, when I began my introductions and introduced myself as Ms. OneMean MFA, I realized how much I really love teaching. Even writing the syllabus, though tedious, felt good. Much better than answering the phone at the salon.

I’m so over that job and am quitting this week. I will NOT work three jobs, also my time is precious and I refuse to sit in a mall every evening when I could be getting my teacher work done and cooking delicious semi-gourmet meals for the boyfriend. I also really need to polish my thesis into a best seller novel and I can’t do that at the salon either.

As of now, I’m working 6 days a week, with only Sunday to get my teaching stuff done. That is just insane. I did not bust my ass in school, write a freakin’ novel, and get a master’s degree so I could work a minimum wage job. Although, I will miss the free hair services. Oh well.

This week I’ll be introducing a blogging project to my class which I have been brewing up for about a month. I so desperately want it to be a success. I also want my students to leave my class really digging the idea of having their own blog. I’m nervous about the logistics. I have about 90 students and I’ll need to monitor all of their blogs every week–hence why I need to quit the salon. Well, I’ll keep you posted on the progress.

Now instead of procrastinating, I need to be getting my teacher stuff done so that I get the semester started on the right foot. Right now, I’m already behind and dreading this last week at the salon. I so hope I don’t burn any bridges by quitting. I just don’t want to over stretch myself, plus I can’t network in the academic world if I’m at the mall. Plus, yesterday while I was on break I made a ridiculous impulse purchase–which I’m not really one to do but have on occasion brought home shoes, dresses, and jewelery that I don’t need–I am not returning it, though I debated. I’ve decided it will be a fantastic addition to my new professional wardrobe. I do after all have to look great.

Well, I’m going to focus.

Oh man I love this time of year!

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Well I started teaching on Monday. Starting next week I’ll be teaching at another school, so I will be a busy lady. I’m relieved I got four sections because that is like a full-time instructor and I’m very eager to not work at the salon any longer.

I was told not to read at the front desk and since then I’ve been planning my exit. I would love to go out like the Jet Blue flight attendant–in a blaze of glory– but I haven’t worked there long enough and frankly the turnover at that the place is so high in a few months the people who work there will forget I ever existed; which, to be honest, works for me.

I’ve been working on syllabi for two weeks and yesterday I had a breakthrough teaching idea. I got so excited. The assignment is going to be for teaching persuasive papers which is the last paper we will be working on and I am so eager to test out this idea that I can’t wait for the end of October. As I approach this time, I’ll be keeping you posted on the details. Good teaching is supposed to be shared. I just want to test it out first.

Once I leave the salon, I won’t be working seven days a week and will return to a regular writing and exercise routine. I love routine and structure and haven’t had any for months and I believe this is a major contributing factor to why my waistline keeps getting wider and wider.

Last time I posted goals up here I accomplished them so here goes nothing!

By the end of this semester I’d like to (rather, I will) have  a completed/polished draft of my novel ready to be sent out to publishers. I have a pretty good idea of what I’d like to add to my novel, and where I need to make some changes to the draft I used for my thesis, but as is always the case with me, it’s never a matter of idea, it’s alway a matter of sitting down and doing it.

Currently, I’m teaching at community colleges but my goal is to eventually be on a tenure track at a four-year university. I’ve had this goal for a long time–and well once I get an idea in my head I do whatever it takes to make it a reality.

After sitting through graduation–which was generic but touching, I decided I too needed a Ph.D. Watching those candidates get their hoods was inspiring. Also, they get to wear those cool caps, their gowns have velvet, and they sit in the front row. That, my friends, is what I’m talking about.

The boyfriend was not surprised when I uttered the words Ph.D. programs. In fact, he claimed he expected me to be interested since he is a dating a perpetual student. Whatever, I like school, so hit me with a book or something.

So as the fall gets rolling into motion, I’m not overwhelmed yet by my teacher and writer work, instead I’m super excited and feeling overly ambitious. I’m sure come midterm season I’ll be singing a different tune, but for now I’m going to revel in the optimism.

Still Computerless

Dear Readers,

My computer is still not working so I am borrowing the boyfriend’s. The good news is I actually need it to write syllabi. I got two adjuncting jobs at small colleges and have four sections which is like full-time. I am so happy.

I will write more as soon as the computer situation is under control.

Miss you guys,

One Mean MFA