Thursday, August 20, 2015

Snapshots from the Administrator-Writer Life

--A female student called me on Tuesday and said, "I've been talking to Isis."  For one brief moment, I thought we were going to have a very intriguing conversation about her interaction with the Islamic terrorist group.  But she'd been talking to Iris, our Readmissions expert.

--A week ago, I looked up when a student came in my door.  He said, "I need a savior, and I've been told you're the one!"  I couldn't resist.  I said, "I am not the Messiah" (my favorite John the Baptist quote).  And then I said, "But seriously, how can I help you?"  He had come to find out about computer tutoring.

--Yesterday was the orientation day for our midquarter start group of students.  Years ago, I'd have been racing around adding more classes to the schedule to accommodate the 200-300 students we'd have had.  Those days have become these days when we only had about 40 students yesterday.  But they seemed enthusiastic--and very young.

--Registration for Fall quarter started yesterday.  By 8:30 a.m., when I was correcting one faculty member's schedule, I noticed that there were already some students registered for English classes.  Registration had only been available since 8:00--I am seeing these early registrants as a hopeful sign.

--We have a one day visit from accreditors in two weeks.  I've spent the last week assembling the syllabi notebook.  In October of 2014, our syllabi were completely uniform--it's amazing how syllabi can migrate in one year:  missing logos, new grid lines, changed type font.  If the accreditors have a lust for uniformity, we are doomed.  I'm betting that they won't care about graphic design, as long as the content is fine.

--I am living in and out of time as an administrator, keeping multiple schedules in my head:  Summer, Midquarter, and Fall.  I refuse to start to think about hiring for January until we get to October--otherwise my head might explode.

--We're having a Spirit Week at school, with each day having a clothing theme.  Yesterday was superhero day.  When someone asked me about my lack of costume, I said, "I'm SuperAdministrator.  I'm completely invisible, solving large problems in a single bound, with a schedule in one hand and a room use chart in the other."

--My poetry writing has fallen by the wayside.  Two weeks ago, I had an excuse:  it was the last week of online classes at one school, and I had a lot of grading to do.  This week, I don't have a good excuse.  I feel like I have an image or two, but no poem blooms out of them.

--I've been typing poems into the computer in the hopes that my old work will inspire me.  Even if it doesn't, I'll have new poems to send out to journals when submissions open in a week.

--For comfort, I've been thinking about medieval monastics who formed nunneries and kept them running and did their creative work and cared for the larger community.  Tomorrow I'll post one of the poems that I wrote about Saint Brigid; it's just been published in Adanna.

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