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The Fall 2023 Thread

Started by Sun_Worshiper, August 19, 2023, 03:13:47 PM

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The summer is coming to a close and classes will be starting soon for most of us. How will you celebrate the start of a new year? Will you be throwing a get together for your beloved colleagues? Taking the enthusiastic new students out for ice cream? Perhaps a parade for the dean? Share your plans and hopes... or, if you prefer, your anxieties and fears ;)


By escaping for a much-deserved vacation abroad!
(And prepping as much as possible in advance to reduce distractions while on said vacation).


I've just been handed some new administrative responsibilities for a suite of courses that haven't been updated or developed in the LMS, so that's getting most of my attention over the next couple of weeks.

On the positive side, I'm teaching an elective that I enjoy and that gets offered only now and then. I just revised the syllabus and added a section related to a research idea I'm exploring. Looking forward to teaching it!
"How fleeting are all human passions compared with the massive continuity of ducks...."


We learned at last week's Rotary meeting that the local school district, its reading scores plummeting since the pandemic, is now trying a major emphasis on reading.  Naturally this was the very first time that we public librarians in town--their logical partners and resources in what they're trying to do--heard the first word about it.  The schools have become so hopelessly siloed from the rest of the community!  I spent the session biting my tongue so hard I left teeth marks on it. 

We just told the school admin making the speech afterward that we were there for them and were on their team.  We discussed a couple of ways in which we might partner in this reading thing.  I hope we can get some follow-through.  Maybe the schools are finally desperate enough to get the students reading that they're open to letting us help them, instead of keeping the students so busy all the time on school busy work they don't even know the public library exists anymore.
For our light affliction, which is only for a moment, works for us a far greater and eternal weight of glory.  We look not at the things we can see, but at those we can't.  For the things we can see are temporary, but those we can't see are eternal.


Ugh. I finish my summer semester today, then have to get the syllabi for the fall sent off for approval. As soon as the wildfire smoke clears up, I'm gonna dunk myself in the ocean.
I know it's a genus.


First day of classes here.

Last week, an upgrade (?) to our syllabus management tool, required for use in all courses, caused that tool to crash, and in some cases it wiped out existing fall syllabi.  After multiple emails, we were told on Friday that it's working again, but based on past experience, many of us are leery.

Late yesterday evening, we were all mailed photo rosters for our classes. I panicked when I looked at mine this morning, as it was showing only 5 students in one section, 13 in another, and between 1/3 to 1/2 of the students missing in my other sections. (I double-checked: 4 sections are showing as full, at 25 students, in Banner, and one has 13 students, not the 5 shown on the photo roster.)

Welcome back to the same old, same old, I suppose. Cross fingers that Teams is actually working for my 2 p.m. virtual lecture section.

I'm glad to be back and starting a new term, despite the hiccups. Wishing all here a good Fall!


We start next week. TPTB decided in their infinite wisdom that this summer we were have a major shift in which buildings departments were housed in (their reasoning was actually logical; their estimated timeline for the move was rediculous). The movers began moving my department last week.  So, now amid the normal Fall insanity, I do not yet have an office key, some of my office stuff did not move over, and I'm still locating where some of my boxes containing material for my lab course ended up. On the plus side, my office has a window!


Apparently I will be starting the new academic year by looking backwards to the last... My inbox this morning included an inquiry about availability for an academic misconduct hearing. This is for a student who dropped the class, but still wants to appeal their misconduct charge. Sigh.

In the meantime, my "New Year's resolution" is to be more organized this semester than in the past.


First day of fall semester here, I just finished my classes for the day and am having lunch/browsing The Fora. Seems like a good bunch of students this year--I didn't have to pull teeth to get some class participation!

Just 45 more teaching days to go...


Friday through Sunday this week I co-lead a pre-orientation program for students who need extra support in making the transition due to mental health concerns. This is my fifth year doing it, so we've got it down to a pretty well oiled program, but it is always intense none the less getting them through their first anxious days on campus, but also very rewarding.

Then a few days lull during regular orientation before classes and all the regular meetings start up, and we launch/restart data collection for the semester.
"Never get separated from your lunch. Never get separated from your friends. Never climb up anything you can't climb down."
–Best Colorado Peak Hikes


Day #2 and I'm already tired.


I had a pretty good first day yesterday. Students were fairly enthusiastic and I was good after shaking off a little summer rust. I think it set a good tone for the semester.


MY LAST LESSON OF FALL SEMESTER 2023 JUST FINISHED!!!!! Can you tell I am excited? :)