Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Snapshots from a Week in the Life of an Administrator

--I spent much of yesterday revising an e-mail.  I wanted to get just the right tone, and I wanted to make sure that it would seem unremarkable, should anyone other than my department read it.  I decided to sleep on it one last night; I've been working on it since Thursday.  Sigh.

--I realized that I have spent more time on this e-mail than I've spent on any other writing project in the past week.  So, this morning, I wrote a poem.  Last week, I wrote poem fragments--better than no writing, but it was good to write something more complete this morning.

--I tore student names off of assessment artifacts so that I could put most of them into the recycling bin.  I'm happy to help the planet, but honestly, there are days when I can't believe my professional life has come to this.

--But yesterday also included lunch with one of my recently RIFed colleagues.  She's one of the ones who is doing well.  She had so many part-time endeavors that part of her is grateful to have the time to build her income streams into a real business.  She's inspiring!

--We talked about the variety of online classes that we've both taught.  I'm amazed at how my thoughts about online education have changed.  Now, not only am I intrigued by the opportunities that online classes give us, but the ways that we could use some of that technology in our onground classes.  Yes, I'm talking about blended classes--not much new in my thinking.  But I'm surprised by how many people still aren't convinced.

--My anxiety dreams usually involve me as a student or me as a teacher.  The other night I dreamed I was writing an e-mail to a teacher who decided that he didn't need to show up for work if our interim president was going to be absent.  In my dream, I was putting off the moment when I would need to be stern.

--I finished off the day at a Church Council meeting over dinner at the parsonage.  I am reminded of a different administrator life that I shucked a year ago:  after being president of the Church Council for almost 5 years, I stepped down, but continued to serve as a Council member.  At the meetings, I realize how much has been going on for the past month that I knew nothing about, as much of the church stuff requiring immediate attention gets handled by the executive committee.  I'm so relieved not to be serving in that capacity, although at times, I do feel strangely left out.

--In many areas of life, I think about how the burden of work falls on the shoulders of the few, and I wonder if it really needs to be this way.  But that's a subject for another post.  Now I need to take a walk and get some of my online students' rough drafts read so that I can go in to the office to see what this day brings.

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