Okay, so I’ve modified my research plan. I think in order for me to feel like I’m going to be productive or might actually be productive, I cut the schedule down to two days a week, 2 hours a day. Right now I have it set for 6-8 am, but leaving myself some flexibility in that it can be as late as 6:30-8:30 T & F mornings, but the goal is 6-8. I work best at that time. The J is almost always asleep. He does not have an early class that day; I don’t have to work those days (mostly). And at the end of three weeks, I’ll re-evaluate the situation and see if it’s been a struggle to keep up with the two days a week or if I find that I have more time or if it works. But I’m going to maintain that for at least three weeks because I won’t know if it’s sustainable or how I feel if I don’t push myself. However, if by the second week I’m finding that it is just blowing, then I’ll know pretty soon, but three weeks starting Jan. 25th.
I have two of my syllabi done. The second one was sort of easy after I got the first one written–they are both writing classes, so the policies will be basically the same. I tried to double dip some of the readings to make life easier on myself, but it only happened on three days. And I don’t want to make the sophomore class too much like the freshman class. But I think I’ve got some good stuff that I’m going to be able to teach with hopefully a minimal amount of stress. Of course, it’s probably too much and in about four weeks when I’m picking up that first set of essays in both classes, I’m going to be cursing and fighting and everything thing else over it. I think I’m getting better with scheduling though. Like I know I’m going to be travel weary and tired as hell the day after the marathon. So rather than doing peer review and taking up drafts before I leave, I’m doing peer review the day after the marathon (and in case they’re are any flight issues, then if someone has to step in or whatever, they don’t have to do anything but collect drafts). Rather than having the midterm and the final drafts of the first essay due in the same week as midterm grades are due and saving it all until the end of the week, I’m smarter this time–essay due the week before midterm; midterm at the beginning of the week. And maybe I can get most stuff done before the grades are due and get them back so there are no surprises and I don’t have to spend spring break either explaining their grades or worrying about complaints piling up in my email or sending emails out that say "you have to meet with me next week" blah, blah, blah.
The week before finals week is going to be rough; however, right now I only have six students in one writing class and 22 in the freshman class, so that’s fewer than 30 comp essays which is way better than either 44 or 60. And if I can use my time on campus to grade, then I should be able to get them back all the essays except the in class final essay by the final essay, so again, no surprises, which hopefully will equal fewer headaches for me and if there are plagiarists, then they’ll know what’s coming before the final and I won’t have to waste two weeks after grades are due dealing with those jacknobbers.
Of course we were supposed to leave tomorrow. I don’t want to leave tomorrow because I haven’t done shit around here. And we have a fridge full of food that we have to cook. But I didn’t want to not get home until Thursday, but so what. I can go do what I need to do on campus on Friday, and then I probably just spend the weekend finishing up the one syllabus and stuff or try working on a lecture or something this weekend, but at least I have the syllabi for the first two classes done and I can get all that photocopied and stuff on Friday and while the J is standing in line at the bookstore buying his books, I can take care of the final plagiarist and get that off my plate before the weekend at least and not have to deal with it on the first day of classes, though I’m hoping that Stu doesn’t show up in my office on the first day. But if I get all the plagiarism stuff taken care of, then I’ll have it at my fingertips and can say, "look, this is what you did here, here, and here." And I’ll be prepared. Besides, I think Stu’s essay was 2.5 spaced and 14 point font, so yeah, Stu’s just all around kinda shady with that essay. Actually, and I may go back and see if Stu pulled anything from on-line, too, just to double check. If I’m stuck doing this shit anyway, may as well try to make my case bulletproof and be done with it.
Today we have a nice long run. This is the first time in a while I’ve sorta been dreading it, but I know after we do it, I’ll feel better. And since I’ve already got two of the syllabi done, after the run I can either nap or start packing and getting stuff together and clean the kitchen so that tomorrow I can pick up my ring (pictures forthcoming) and just kind of have a day of relaxation before embarking on that long drive. Because on Wednesday, I must start to face reality once again. And I really really don’t want to. However, on the plus side, it will be nice to get back to my gym, have access to better fruits and veggies at the Farmer’s Market and have access to really good seafood. It will be nice to see my friends again, have wireless internet and cable tv, have my mail not be screwed up, so I guess there are pluses to going back there. If only I could take all the good things from both places and put them in one place, then life would be easier. But oh well.