Carleen
I'm pleased to report that I successfully completed the first week of the Spring 2009 semester without any major issues -- yeah me!

My schedule is completely screwed up this semester. For the past four years, I've had a consistent schedule of Monday and Wednesday morning classes on the main campus. For someone who wakes up as early as I do, this has been an ideal situation for me. This time around, however, I am teaching one class on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, and one on Thursday nights. In addition to the days and times being off, one class is on the main campus and the other on our satellite campus in a city approximately 15 miles away. Under normal circumstances, fifteen miles is not a terribly long commuting distance; but when the class begins at 7 o'clock and the commute involves traveling down one of the most congested Southern California freeways at peak traffic time, a commute which ought to take 15-20 minutes becomes a stressful trek of, at the very least, double that time.

It has been at least five years since I taught a night class and equally as long since I taught a class on the satellite campus. Driving such a distance at night is not an option for me thanks to the Chiari induced problems with depth perception and night blindness, so Ali is once again playing the role of chauffeur. I think he likes the idea of napping peacefully in the car while I'm in class!

The two classes are as different as, pardon the pun, day and night. The afternoon class is quite small (16 students), while the night class has nearly met its cap of 45. If our state budget weren't such a mess and dozens of classes hadn't been canceled as a result, the enrollment of the night class would never have been raised from the standard enrollment of 25. But it is what it is at this point, and I will deal with the situation as best I can.

Both classes have, based on first impressions only, some really great students who are actively engaged in the learning process. This alone will make for a truly enjoyable semester.

And so it goes. . .
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3 Responses
  1. Prof S Says:

    I hated teaching night classes and finally gave it up two years ago to teach online. Still have the problem with large numbers of students. 45 students is ridiculous. Good luck - hope it goes well.
    Prof S


  2. Carleen Says:

    I will retiring at the end of this semester, not because I no longer want to teach, but because the state of California's economy has become so dismal that I can no longer rely on teaching enough classes to maintain my health insurance. With the medical problems I have, being without insurance is simply not an option. Lucky for me, though, I will turn 50 in May and have more than enough service hours to combine with my age so that I will be eligible for retirement.

    Maybe I will look into teaching online again. I was hired by the University of Phoenix several years ago, but I didn't like the lack of freedom when it came to setting up my classes and choosing textbooks. We all have our own ways of doing things and for an institution of higher learning to think that it is best to take away creative control from their faculty is problematic to me.

    Thanks for stopping by! I'll pay a visit to your blog, too.


  3. Prof S Says:

    I agree about losing autonomy at many colleges. The ones I teach for have opportunities to write your own class or to revise a class. I like having the ability to design a course as I like to. Here's another blog I've worked on intermittently for about a year (under another name). There's some good info there. Check it out too. THen email me if you want to brainstorm some ideas. http://teachonline2008.blogspot.com/


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