Oxygen Mask School of Life

I sit in the office early on a Saturday, chugging through items not yet completed from the Spring Break to do list. I set a timer in 1, 5 and 15 minute increments to at least complete pieces of a few things. I reach the task for my ‘gradual’ degree marked ‘lesson plan’ and begin to unravel. In class, last weekend, I’d said my purpose was to translate the African Americn Lit class from F2F to online format. Most of this week, I’ve focused on the ENG 098 syllabus and service learning, so a lesson plan that integrates our writing objectives with service learning would be the optimal choice. Service Learning is, after all, the issue I’ve been researching for my final project. But then my thoughts begin to swim. I’ve scheduled the next few weeks for students’ teaching and second meeting days of each week for trips to the nursing home. We skip one week at Torrey Pines because a guest speaker is scheduled for April 12th. I’ve invited Shay, a kindred colleague, to observe my class and give feedback on the efficacy of my teaching and she accepted. She came over Thursday and read the draft of my teaching philosophy. But what day can she observe before the next meeting of our Argosy class if, after calling each member of the team, I still have no idea which week they are teaching! Well, I’ll invite her for this Tuesday and hope it’s not a team teaching day.


Low Grade Panic

Okay, I remember to check the student email on the second day after placing it on the to-do list. I made amends with UNLV’s library on Monday and so had borrowing privileges once again but they only had one of the four texts on the shelf: Teaching college in an age of accountability. I grabbed it and another two related titles of interest. Now, I sit in my office counting down the days till my next class wondering how quickly I can get the rest of the texts and when the syllabus will arrive. At least the College Teaching journal is available online, phew! So I begin searching the latest volume, Fall 2006. in it, wonder of wonders, there’s an article on service learning. As the universe would have it, I just began service learning with my English 098 students this semester! Despite the fact that it’s midterm and I have piles of exams to grade, at-risk students to hunt down and cajole into finishing a class they have to pass to get into Comp 101, and despite the fact that my own class begins 9 days from now and I have but one of 4 books to read, I’m experiencing only low-grade panic, not the full blown variety I would have been prone to a year ago.