Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Professional development goals? Get better at everything.

Today our "professional development" reports are due. We are to 1. Evaluate how we did on our professional goals from last year, 2. Set new professional goals for the upcoming academic year, and 3. Update our CVs and other stuff.

As stated in the title, I want to do better at everything. It's that simple. However, setting specific goals truly IS helpful, as is being held accountable.  I'm certain that they read these *she smiles with a sweet Polyanna smile*.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Decision maker: we will now go to private schools

Outside of the (public) school that my children would go to...

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Stress Spike +

I put something off research-related that is due today and it is a VERY big deal (I am giving my field away to half of you). Chasing down particulars of scattered authors is the most time-consuming part. Moreover, I feel extra pressure to make it absolutely perfect so as not to confirm any prejudices about small-school science.

I am straining to hear all the voices from my training, but often I feel like I'm floating at sea with no one in sight.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

May Term, Straggler Work AND looks like CIO is necessary...

I have ANOTHER week of meetings and make-up grading / test giving / straggler work. And I'm teaching a May Term course. The course is a senior capstone, so seniors need it before they graduate. However the course was underenrolled- 4 people- so we agreed to run it as a "directed study". That means the instructor gives the students assignments, but they are to do most of the work as independent reading and writing and spend much less time in a didactic setting. I volunteered to be the instructor because A) I am a glutton for punishment and B) I need the approx $1000 for a new laptop (7 years out of a Dell Inspiron 6000 is really not bad, ey?). Oh, and C) I like students and teaching and D) I like to learn new things. But the money is the important part. :)

For the last few nights I have become convinced that my 8-month-old needs to undergo sleep training. She can't be simply put down in the crib after a nice bedtime ritual. She needs to be swung actively or cuddled etc. She has a very strong preference for sleeping using mommy's empty breast as a 160-pound pacifier. This is not sustainable, and must end if I am to get the high quality sleep I need to survive. I am also very confident that since Girl gets showered in love, affection and attention when she is awake, she will not suffer attachment injury if I/we* put her through sleep training.

For those of you unfamiliar with the parenting lingo: CIO sounds like Chief Industrial Officer or something, but it's Cry-It-Out, where you let the baby cry itself to sleep progressively each night or go "cold turkey". This is a controversial method and some parents (like myself) just can't STAND to sit by and let their baby wail. But I'm (or we are*) going to try it, none-the-less. I will first get rid of this May term, inform myself adequately, then begin my liberation (?).

Anybody have any experience with this? Boy didn't need it. I would love to hear your advice!!

* I find it still very strange to refer to parenting in the I/we terms. But that's a major theme in this blog. I/we parent our children. I for half the week and We for half the week.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

It Doesn't Feel Over / The Big Red Button

Turned in my grades Tuesday. Actually made the deadline for the first time. One trick: if the course has 800 points, it takes 8 points to bring a student's percentage points up one percent. Therefore, if a student has a 74%, they would need 6%*8 points = 48 points to change their letter grade from a C to a B. That means I really don't HAVE to grade that 20 point assignment for that student...at least not before the grade report deadline. I have to grade them eventually, since the students will pester me by e-mail as to why they have grades missing on their LMS (learning management system software). It's also a matter of integrity to grade what you tell them you will grade. Oh, and they will pester you by e-mail.

I expected to feel a huge sigh of relief when I clicked the grade entry button for the last time. But I didn't. I continued to feel entirely wound up all day yesterday and worn out today.  It could be the 2am, 4:30am and 6 am wake-up schedule I had last night.  Could be the pestering by email. Could be the research student who requires a lot of hand-holding and wants to finish this week. There's also an onslaught of meetings that were post-poned until after grade report deadline.

Earlier tonight I was feeling emotionally wrought, and pushed the panic button. I asked Hub to come home early. I considered his schedule before I asked, and it's the first time I've hit the "big red button" so he is taking it seriously. He'll be home tomorrow in time to pick up the kids from the day care and give me some relief. He'll have to take off work 4 hours earlier to get here, due to traffic.

Tomorrow I have a Faculty/Staff conference until 3pm, then I'm headed straight to the pool to swim (hard) laps. This has made a big shift in my body/brain chemistry before, so I'll start there. Wish me 2000 meters, no pain afterwards, and an enkephalin high.

Happy spring to you all. Now I'm going to bathe for the first time in three days.