Saturday, January 10, 2015

Rollercoaster Week: A Look Back

What a tumultuous week.  Let me take a look back, so that I have a record at some point.

--Monday seems so long ago, so quiet.  I got so much work done at the office, while also considering the possibility of more online teaching work.  I ordered textbooks, one for the class for which I'm considering finishing the curriculum, one for an instructor who hadn't had any luck in getting a desk copy.

--Those books came yesterday.  How much has changed!  How much stays the same . . .

--On Tuesday, we had layoffs at work.  Two years ago, my department was split in two:  Humanities/Communication and Math/Science with two people in charge.  Now my department is reunited again. 

--Suddenly, I find myself in charge of double the amount of people.  I keep myself grounded by reminding myself that our newly reunified department is still smaller than our department was back before the first round of layoffs back in 2012.  I'm also being realistic in what I can accomplish.  I had thought of doing more classroom observations of each teacher, back when I was only overseeing Humanities and Communications classes.  Those plans may be on hold.

--The way we do Math classes has changed dramatically since I oversaw those classes in 2012.  Now we use a Pearson product, MyMathLab--or is it MyFoundationsLab?  Our outgoing coordinator left the process in fine shape.  Still, there are many aspects of the week-to-week running of it that I don't know yet.

--I should have bought stock in Pearson--they seem to be moving from being a textbook company to taking over much of the first year college education world. This, despite having all sorts of software glitches that don't seem to make schools forsake them.  My online class at a different school is having all sorts of problems with MyEnglishLab.

--I looked at the folder of information that our now-former Coordinator of Math and Science kept.  I immediately felt overwhelmed, like I might collapse in tears and wailing.  My sturdy self spoke up:  "Just put the folder back on the shelf."  I did.

--The outside news cycle intruded on my week of rollercoaster emotions.  Like the rest of the free world, I was shocked by the murders in France.  One of the careers I considered was newspaper journalist, and the editor of that journal was just 2 years younger than I was.  If I had stayed on the journalism path, I doubt I would have taken the kind of stand he did.  I would likely be unemployed by now, in a different field, after having written ho-hum articles about a variety of subjects.

--Later in the week, as the terrorists made their last stand in the industrial building, I thought about the worker taken hostage.  I want more news coverage about that person--was he working late or early?  He just happened to be in the building--that's the extent of the coverage.  I think of the randomness of it all--he just happens to be at work in a rural village when terrorists on the run end up there.

--It was a week of late nights and early mornings at work, although not extremely late, since the building closes at 8 when classes aren't in session.  Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday were days of hecticity, as we tried to get students admitted and registered for classes with all the paperwork in order, as we tried to get everything ready for Monday.  I spent lots of time with people brimming with stress and sometimes anger.  For the most part, I was able to assist with problems and get them sorted out.

--At least when I worked late, there wasn't traffic on the way home.

--Home wasn't always peaceful either.  I came home on Monday to find the bedroom ceiling fan perched on a ladder.  My spouse reports that he was working on the computer and heard strange noises and discovered the fan working its way out of the ceiling.  Various parts were stripped and it took him a few days to figure out how to get all the parts out of the ceiling.  The bedroom was almost unusable for a few days.

--But along the way, there were wonderful moments too.  Let me not forget my haiku workshop--what fun!  I wrote some poems that made me happy.  I had coffee, lunches, happy hour with friends.  One night we went to the house of friends in the neighborhood--we had a great meal and a family games night.

--Last night, we ate our supper by the pool.  And then our neighbor needed help lifting a tire into her car, and we waited for her on the front porch.  It was great to be reminded of how much I love this house in this neighborhood.  It was great to have some time to watch the light fade from the sky and the streetlights come on--our streetlights were replaced about 5 years ago, and they have an antique gaslight look.

--Last night was the first night since Sunday that I was able to sleep longer than 4 hours.  That, too, gives me hope.

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