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Late Spring To-Do List

  • Read scholarly book #1
  • Read scholarly book #2
  • Catch up on professional journals
  • Administer evaluations
  • Grade seminar research papers
  • Write two final exams
  • Grade final exams
  • Compute final grades
  • Order books for fall
  • Find apartment in New City
  • Attend INRU Commencement!

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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Orientation: Days 1-3

Short version: so far, I've been impressed with just about everything I've seen and everyone I've met at Big Urban. I think I'm even excited to be starting to teach next week.

Now, for the longer version. Monday, yesterday, and today I commuted to BUU for various orientation activities: two days for a program designed for new instructors in the writing program (since my comp class falls within the scope of that program), and one for an orientation and welcome session for new non-tenure track faculty.

Although much of the material covered in the writing orientation wasn't strictly necessary, as the program is intended as an introduction for all new instructors (many of them graduate students who have never yet taught a class), none of it felt painful and the program was almost unbelievably well-conceived and well-run (if this tells you anything, every session started within five minutes of the appointed time). It was also just a really thorough and useful general introduction to the university: which administrative offices do what, who to call for various services, where to find the relevant forms.

Today's orientation for new faculty was also generally useful and interesting (and featured a goodie bag of free stuff!), though it did begin thirty minutes late. On the whole though I've never been to better-run admin-type meetings than these two: no droning enslavement to PowerPoint, no hail-fellow-well-met administrators blustering about the life of the mind and the specialness of their university; just smart, efficient, funny people who seem to love what they do and to be totally on top of their shit.

The weather's been beautiful these last few days, too, and it was nice to have the chance to wander around campus a bit--I checked out all my classrooms, got assigned an office, made sure my books were in at the bookstore, met some of the faculty I've been e-mailing, and just generally tried to get a feel for the place before it became overwhelmed with students. Although about half of the buildings on campus are ugly modern things, like the Sovietesque beast that houses the English department, the campus as whole is really quite attractive, with brick paths, lots of trees, and careful landscaping; it's also a more cohesive whole than most schools in urban areas tend to be.

So on the whole I have a really good feeling about everything; let's just hope that it isn't destroyed once I actually enter the classroom on Monday!

link | posted by La Lecturess at 8:06 PM |


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