Tuesday, February 18, 2014

This coming fall

(Yes, I have a cold. Or at least I think I do. So maybe this is more dire and "poor me" than really intended. Drinking an entire pot of Raspberry Zinger tea last night only had the effect of making me get up every couple hours during the night to "offload" the tea.... My throat is still scratchy and all the rooms that are typically overheated here are now overheated, so that just makes it worse.)

Because of the way my department works, there is a "floating overload." (We are down a full tenure line from where we were ten years ago and one of our number was poached to become an administrator - and we have not gotten back either of those positions, other than as a wavery promise to allow us to hire an adjunct (the problems with getting people willing to do good work for low pay is another discussion for another time)

It has been a long time since I did overload - in fact, so long, the last time I did it, they weren't PAYING for it. You just did it.

Well, I've been approached with an offer to teach overload for fall. This time it will be paid, though it's not clear what the exact rate is. (I am presuming it's adjunct-rate, which will be a couple hundred dollars up to maybe a thousand. That's for the entire class; not "additional per month".). I don't need more money at this point; what I need is more time. But I feel like I have to agree to it in the spirit of being a team player. (I was offered an overload in the past, but then a colleague who has more dependents than I swooped in and asked if he could have it).

The schedule as it stood was my two "regular" upper division classes, one at MWF 9 am, one at MWF 11 am plus a lab W from 1 to 3. And a lab, probably Thursday afternoon from 1 to 3 And then two sections of the intro majors class. But the catch was one was T, Th from 11-12:15, and the other was MWF 8 am.

That's a big problem. I knew that would be crazymaking for me. Not just because I'd come to resent the class because I'd be TEACHING IT EVERY DAY OF MY LIFE (well, not weekends, but you get the idea). And also, trying to coordinate one section that is 50 minutes per meeting with one that is 75 minutes per meeting - ugh.

So I went and talked with my chair. I presented the problem of the non-equivalent sections and asked if there was anyway I could get two, 75 minute sections on Tuesday and Thursday. She thought that was possible, especially since I presented it as "I'd be a lot more willing to say 'yes' if it were that way."

(And if I can get two back-to-back sections, I can probably use the same exams - or at least, similar exams - for both sections, and save myself a bit on writing)

I also will be co-teaching GIS (a 2 hour class) but getting none of the load (there's no way to split load in a co-taught class here, so each member gets the full load one time and none the next). So I have, what, 18 contact hours. (That does not include the time spent grading or prepping - that's just time I'm in class. And also, we are expected to be in our offices ready to assist students for 10 hours per week, including at least one hour per business day, and now we're not permitted to post official office hours before 8 am. Never mind that my 7 to 8 am hour, when I had it, was one of my most-used....)

The other big issue is that GIS needs to be Wednesday or Thursday. Well, once a month I have Elder's meeting and board meeting at church starting at 6, and I can't skip that for four months just to teach a class. And on Thursdays, once a month, I have AAUW. And while I could just drop out for a year, I hate to do that. (I think I can probably insist, since I am seeing NO load for this class and it will be at the end of a day that is a long day - (wharrgarrblll, I will have to pack a lunch AND dinner on GIS days) that I should be allowed to leave for my meeting. (That would be a half-hour early Thursdays and an hour early Wednesdays.)

Well, they expect us to have civic engagement! I can't arrange all my 'civic engagement' for Saturdays!

It's gonna be a lousy schedule. Yes, I know that doesn't sound like a lot of time at work for someone, but consider perhaps one hour of prep time for each hour in lecture, and maybe an hour of prep and cleanup time per lab, and committeework, and what research I can fit in, and the time spent grading and writing tests and quizzes....and the time and energy spent dealing with the unprepared people (like I talked about yesterday) or the people who seem to just have runs of bad luck or the people who need a confessor/counselor/big sister/I don't know what.....and well, I'm gonna be a crispy critter come December.

(Maybe I will have to end the blog, or go on hiatus, seeing as I will probably get NO knitting AT ALL done. And maybe this is when I look into Seattle Sutton or one of those allegedly-healthful food-delivery services just so I'm spared the agony of shopping and cooking, I dont' know. I wonder if Seattle Sutton delivers here, and if they do low-salt meals....Or maybe there's something else I can give up doing that I'm not thinking of right now.)

I did tell my chair that "they" (not her, but the nebulous "they" above her) would have to take that into consideration when they saw my lack of scholarly productivity for the fall. I hope that IS considered. (They can't fire me, not for that, I have tenure. At least, I don't THINK they can.)

1 comment:

L.L. said...

Wow that's a lot. Maybe there's hope they'll hire additional staff or adjunct over the summer like someone who just got their Ph.D. and needs work.