Friday, August 27, 2010

Semester Goals

In an effort to live a more balanced and well-ordered life this semester I set some goals for myself. I'll try and do a update on Fridays to see how well I'm living up to these goals.

1. Get an hour of research done a day. I've set aside an hour a day to focus on my research/writing. I've also recruited a research buddy who is going to check in with me each day so that we can encourage each other to focus on our writing.
2. Work out for at least 30 minutes every day. I've recruited two work out partners. One for Tuesday/Thursday and one for Monday/Wednesday/Friday.
3. Leave the house by 7:40 each morning. If I can drop the kids off early enough, I can get to school by 8 and start gettign work done.
4. Get to bed by midnight each night. If I don't I won't be able to get up early enough to leave the house by 7:40.
5. Clean up the kitchen before I got to bed. Otherwise, I'll be depressed when I get up in the morning.
6. Put away lecture notes immediately after class finishes. Otherwise I'll have a pile to deal with later.
7. Update attendance same day that class is held. Otherwise, I'll have a pile to deal with later.
8. Answer or delete all email before leaving for the day.
9. Add any 'tasks' that come through email to TASK LIST then delete email by end of the day.
10. Immediately add meetings, etc. to calendar. So that if I 'forget' a meeting, it will be on purpose.
11. Devote at least one hour a day to grading whenever there is work to be graded. Maybe this way I won't always feel guilty and desperate. Besides most of my post-midnight evenings have occured because of trying to complete my grading.

How did I do this first week of school at meeting my goals??

1. Research: Mostly Fail. I only got in 1.5 of my 5 hours of research.
2. Work-out: WIN!
3. Leave House on Time: WIN!
4. In bed by midnight: Mostly win. I think one night it was about 12:30.
5. Clean Kitchen: FAIL - there is still a pan in the sink from dinner Monday.
6. Put away notes: WIN!
7. Attendance: Mostly win. Still have to enter two classes from today.
8. Email: Mostly win.
9. Task Lists: FAIL - I need to add a new tasks program to my iphone for this to work.
10. Meetings: WIN!
11. Grading: N/A :)

I'm giving myself 7 out of 10 for this week or a C-.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Circles Versus Rows

A new fall semester begins and so does the debate of whether circles or rows is the default position for desks in the classroom. The row adherents argue that rows are the standard position so if you want to use circles you must have your students move their desks back into rows before they leave the room.

The circle fans argue that circles provide a better educational environment. They also argue that no one sets the room up in circles for their students, so they shouldn't be forced to move them back to rows when they leave.

The row contingent has just now fired back with a NEW arguement for rows. They claim that it is easier for the cleaning staff to clean if the classroom is in rows. Therefore, circle faculty, even if they don't care about their fellow pro-row faculty, should put the classroom into rows when they finish class since it is more curteous toward the staff.

I'm in the middle of the row/circle debate - literally. The person who teaches before me is a circle fan. The person who teaches after me is a row fan. Being flexible, I can teach to a circle or a row. However, I'm going to get glared at by my row colleague for the circle even though I didn't have a hand in creating the circle. It also doesn't seem FAIR to require my students to re-establish the room into rows when we did not 'circle-ize it' to begin with.

It almost makes me long for the days when desks were bolted down to the floor.