Friday, May 15, 2020

A Journal of the Plague Year, Part the Twenty-Ninth - A Semester and a Half

And so it ends, not with a bang but with an email.

When I started this semester I figured I’d have a lot of time on my own.  Oliver was in college.  Lauren was studying abroad.  Kim was commuting four days a week to Madison and not getting home until late.  It was just going to be me and the cats, and with one kid in college and another headed that way shortly it seemed a good time to load up on work.  It’s good to earn money, and it keeps me off the streets.

Also, while most of my job is academic advising these days a goodly portion of it remains teaching as an adjunct instructor, and the thing about being an adjunct is that they only ever remember the last thing you told them.  If you say no to a class, they figure you’ll say no to everything.  So you say yes to whatever they ask you to teach.  This is how I ended up teaching World History Prior to 1500 several times, since my PhD in the political culture of the early American republic clearly covered medieval India as well.  And it’s how I ended up with about 150% of a job this semester.

Then the bottom fell out of the world, which is the bad news, and everyone came home, which is at least good news to that extent.  I like spending time with my wife and family.  I wish they had been able to continue doing what they were doing before all this happened – missing out on office colleagues, half a semester, and a third of a study abroad year is a sad thing – but there you go.

Not that I got to spend much time with them, since a) I was already doing a job and a half, and b) moving all that online is actually more time-consuming than just going out and doing it.  I’ve been pretty much glued to my computer since March.

But now I have completed all of the grading for the semester.  I’ve posted the ones I can post and will post the rest on Monday when that campus opens up its grade rosters online.  And I’ve emailed all my students in that last class to let them know their final grades.  It’s finished.

It’s kind of strange, not having anything immediate to do.

Oh, there’s plenty to do.  I have one summer class that starts in ten days that I have to set up the Canvas site for, another that may or may not start in mid-June depending on enrollment, a third that definitely will run starting a couple of days after that but which I need to completely overhaul from a face to face class to a remote delivery class and do so in coordination with two other instructors, and an advising job that drops down to about half what it was during the year but which still will take more time than that because it always does. 

Fred, you knew the job was dangerous when you took it.

But that’s – what? – DAYS away.  Might as well be an eternity.

I can’t go out to celebrate – our state supreme court decided that the legislature’s kneecapping campaign against a duly elected governor who actually won a majority of the votes, in stark contrast to the controlling party of the legislature here in this criminally gerrymandered state, was more important than public safety, though our county has re-imposed the common sense restrictions that the court tried to get rid of – and even if I could I wouldn’t.  I’m going to wait a few weeks to see how the canaries in that particular coal mine fare.

So I’m home.  I’ve got a few projects that I might look through to see if one grabs me, or perhaps I’ll just see if anyone here wants to hang out.

I like my semesters.  I like when they start.  I like when they end.  And I look forward to when they start again. 


LucyInDisguise said...

Kill Joy.

Been watching the news and online posts about all tham good ol' boys & gurls fulling up the bars an' restroomaunts with their partyingangoodtimes faces all cross the Grand Ol State of Wisconsin.

And there you are, a librul Professor of Librul Stuff and Stuff and Stuff, sittin' home acting all sensibul and high an mitey passin jugement on them pour soles jus cuz they wanna have a good time.

Kill Joy.


LucyInDisguise said...


Do you have any idea how hard it was to type that?

Thor almighty.


LucyInDisguise said...

Oh, and, stop calling me Fred.


David said...

The sacrifices you make for dramatic irony! I'm sure your spell-checker wanted to leap up and strangle you, unless you have the "Teabagger" plug-in installed of course.


How about "Shirley"?

LucyInDisguise said...

Gonna have to seek out that unique plug-in for Grammarly®.

Okay, but only if you mis-spell it properly: Surly Shurly.