Yesterday, I wrote this Facebook post:"Before ordering the books for my fall seminary classes, I just wrote to the professors to see if there had been any changes. Why does writing a polite e-mail of inquiry to my seminary professors-to-be feel like one of the more daring things I will do this week?
To be clear: I'm delighted about the book list, and I'd happily order the books--but if they've all changed, I want to find out in time to order them and have them shipped to my house."
I've worked in academia for decades, so I know that book lists can change: the professor for the class might have changed or the registrar might have a standard list of books to attach to the course (I found the book list as part of the registration portal, which seems to be a registrar function at my seminary) or any number of circumstances could result in me ordering a bunch of books that we won't use.
I decided to be big and brave and proactive and write to the two professors with the longest book lists attached to their courses. And they wrote back the same day! They both wrote very kind e-mails confirming that the book lists are accurate, and the one professor who has recommended books along with the required books elaborated on the recommendations.
I will order the books in the next day or two. Another complicating factor is our impending move in August, and I want to make sure I have the books and that I know where they are as I start classes at the end of August.
It's been the quiet kind of week at work, the kind where I hope that I get a seat in the class that I'm waitlisted for. I honestly can't decide how much of a load I can handle. There are moments when I say to myself, "I'm taking how many classes, along with my full-time work and teaching online?" And then there are weeks like the past one where I see how it may all come together.