Tuesday, February 20, 2007

aye, more than i'd like to admit

As seen at mags' place.

lucyrain took the free ColorQuiz.com personality test!

"Preoccupied with things of an intensely exciting n..."

Click here to read the rest of the results.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

the annual review

Now is the time my colleagues and I must write our Faculty Activity Narrative for the calendar year of 2006. I normally dread this task; however, this time around, I'm positively paralyzed by the thought of it. Last year was a very, very bad year for me. The death of my father, and all the circumstances that surrounded it, nearly wrecked me. But I don't think my colleagues know this.

What some of them--the Salary, Promotion, and Tenure committee--will learn, though, is that last year is the first year I didn't get published since being hired. They'll also learn, as they read my narrative, that I have yet to finish revisions on two essays for resubmission. As they finger their way through my file, they'll see that I have no student evaluations for one of the courses I taught last semester. I'll have to write the words: "I forgot."

And I suppose I'll have to write something about the ugly events that transpired among my co-writers and me over the authorship of a textbook we've been working on for over three years. Somehow, I'll have to indicate that the senior colleague decided that the work my peer and I did was more akin to a Research Assistant's, and--with the help of our editor (who corresponded only with senior colleague)--further decided that my peer and I were no longer worthy of having our names on the spine of the book. After working for more than three years--while untenured--on this textbook (which would have only counted toward "Teaching" rather than "Research"), my peer and I will now be relegated to an "Acknowledgments" page and a couple chapters "written with [insert name]." There's a lot more to this story, as they say, but I won't continue here. Question is, how will I narrate this in my annual review and tenure packet (which is due in August)?

And what of my inability to remember last year in any kind of linear or sustained fashion? It's trite, but I must say that the whole year is a blur spliced with sharp images of traumas endured and imagined, as well as anger-filled interactions. I was dazed. I was clumsy. I wasn't mindful of the little things, like responding to emails of returning phone calls. My student evals from spring, summer, and my fall semester's grad seminar were no less positive than usual. But I don't remember teaching. Not really. Not that the Annual Narrative demands that I do. I'm just sayin'.

I don't know what to write. I don't want to look at my date book. I don't want to flex my memory muscles to conjure some sense of what happened last year. I realize now that I spent all of last year trying to forget it. How can I write it?

Friday, February 2, 2007

just wondering

If you had to choose between living under water and living in outer space, which would you choose?

i bet . . .

. . . your student emails aren't nearly as exciting as mine. Here are two of my favorites. The first needs no contextualization--except that it came through Blackboard:
Sorry to send this mail to a class but I am desperate!

We are throwing a bachelorette party for a soon-2-b-bride and we're having trouble finding a male strip club. Does anyone have any suggestions? If they are in [nearby city] that would be better, but [this city] will do. We had some in mind, but they fell through. This is planned for 2morrow (Saturday Jan 27th) so time is short.

Thanks soooo much!

The second comes from a student to whom I granted an alternative time to take his first test. We corresponded over email then talked in-person in class last night. I have no idea what the fuck he is saying. Though, I must agree with what I think is his gist: I am a pretty good performer.

o it was cool finally meeting prob the most liberal teacher ive ever
had-lol n i've gone to 2 hs's n this is my 3rd college-ur very good at
keeping lecture interesting, however i do have one recc miss record
spinner, i think you would be very good at brodcasting radio or tv-u def
have the personality for it not unlike myself. I aspire to be a
sportscenter anchorman so look for me at 11 in 2 years, although I mioght
wind up teaching if that doesnt work out i guess-lol. I do have one
question for you..why are ch 19 nand 20 posted on BB if its not on the
I look forward to meeting you.

Clearly, I'm a teacher who has no qualms with posting dumbass student emails on my blog.

just for my personal record

It's been one year, 16 hours and 36 minutes since my mother called to tell me my father died. Life has been rough for the past 48 hours. I was weepy. I slept. I'm tired. I couldn't get ahold of my mother on the phone. It was an alternately rainy and dreary day. My God seemed to be counting and supplementing my tears.