Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Where I've Been

Wondering where I’ve been?

So am I.

Between the end of the semester rush, the ongoing Teabagger War on America, and an assortment of other tasks, drains, and diversions - some positive (playoff hockey!) and some not – there has been precious little energy or will to natter on here, which I find to be a shame. I like doing this. I’m not sure when things will calm down, but eventually I suppose they will.

Until then, well, blogging will be light. At least I think it will. You never know - it might end up being a necessary diversion, in which case blogging will be heavy.  I never claimed to be able to predict the future, folks. It's hard enough to remember the past.

For reference sake, this is what my tomorrow looks like. If I get through all of it, then I might be able to think about the longer-range things that I put off in order to do so.

6:45am-7:00 – get lunches and backpacks ready for girls. Get my bag packed. Make tea and bagels for road. Wake girls. Say goodbyes to girls and Kim.

7:00-8:30 – drive 90 minutes to get to Not Quite So Far Away Campus.

8:30-9:30 – prep for class. Print and go over lecture. Copy maps to distribute. Make outline to put on board. Grade whatever assignments were turned in at the last minute of last class.

9:30-10:45 – in Western Civ II class, compress all of World War II into a coherent story that not only hits all the basic events of the war but also puts them into the broader framework of both the 20th century history of Europe and the longer-term context stretching back to the Age of Reconnaissance in the 1400s and the Enlightenment of the 1700s.

10:45-noon – office hours. Likely these will be quiet once I get back to my office, but the walk there will be filled with students and their concerns. I’m not sure why they only want to talk to me in the hallways at this campus, but so be it.

noon-1:30 – drive back home

1:30-2:30 – pick up Tabitha’s violin and music, drop off Not So Far Away Campus class materials and grab Home Campus class materials, and go to Home Campus to prep for upcoming Performing Arts lecture that I have to run. Tasks include getting the lighting ready (don’t forget wrench!), finding and setting up the podium and portable whiteboard, working with the sound guy, and figuring out what I’m going to say to introduce the speaker.

2:30-3:00 – pick up Lauren from school. You have to get there early or you’re stuck waiting two blocks away. It’s not bad – it’s down time, and I get to read a bit here. Remember that Tabitha has play rehearsal and if she comes out to the car I should send her back in.

3:00-4:00 – tour Not Bad President Elementary School art show with Lauren, as I will not have time to do so in the evening. At least this way I get to see it.

4:00-5:00 – pick up Tabitha and bring both girls to Home Campus. Finish whatever prep for speaker that was left undone at 2:30. Get lecture ready for tonight’s class. Girls can do homework. Somewhere in here there must be dinner, but not quite sure where.

5:00-5:45 – Kim picks up girls from theater and takes them to Not Bad President Elementary for art show and Tabitha’s orchestra concert. Speaker should arrive on Home Campus. Go over tech with speaker (make sure he approves of lighting plan in particular), get house ready, make sure sound guy is ready (a no-brainer – he’s better at his job than I am at mine). Open the house to the audience (fortunately a free event, and so do not need to coordinate/worry about ticket sales; also no intermission and so do not need to coordinate coffee shop guy). Introduce speaker. Turn show over to other Performing Arts Committee member who has graciously volunteered to step in at this point and rush off to NBPE to catch Tabitha’s concert.

5:45-6:30 – find parking in same time zone as NBPE. Run to gym where concert will be held and catch as much as possible.

6:30-7:00 – return to Home Campus. If speaker is done, help sound guy strike show. If not, hang out and lend assistance as needed. Normal office hours for Home Campus class (6-7pm) cancelled for tonight, so make sure all class prep was completed during 4-5pm hour.

7:00-8:15 – discuss rise of totalitarianism on both left (Stalinist Soviet Union) and right (Fascist Italy) during 1920s/30s in Western Civ II class, which is a week behind the morning's class. Be prepared to lead class discussion on Mussolini and why his Fascism appeals to the students (because I’ve told them to write an essay making that point – usually I give them the option of deciding what position they’re going to take on these class-discussion essays, but experience has shown that nobody ever takes the Fascist side and one of the things I want to get across to them is that an awful lot of people did back then and they need to understand why).

8:15-9:00 – answer lingering questions from Home Campus students. Go to theater and finish whatever clean-up is left over from speaker event. Go home.

9:00-10:00pm – help get girls to bed. Normally this is my job until story time (Kim reads out loud in a much more entertaining way than I do, it has been universally decreed), but on class nights much of that falls to Kim.

The sad thing is that I don’t think I’m all that unique having a schedule like that these days.

It’s a wonder anyone has any time at all.

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