Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The end is near

I sure hope so, anyway. An already-short semester made nearly a week shorter by three snow days to start it off has meant that nearly every faculty member on campus has been piling on the work, making up for lost time. Everyone, faculty and students alike, is overworked this semester. The stress level is extraordinary.

This is one reason I felt bad effectively asking many of my 280 students to redo their last homework set even as they bear into the next one...and get ready for the next take home exam, to be handed out tomorrow. They took it well, though, and judging from the revisions I've seen since yesterday morning, they've made good on the opportunity: the revisions look great! I think it was the right move.

I hope this coming weekend's conference will be a welcome relief to the handful of faculty and ten or so students who are going. (Danielle, who was in my Linear class last term, jumped at the chance to go and get away from her dreaded CSCI 273 course for a little while.) This year's MAA Southeastern Sectional meeting, in Tuscaloosa, will be the second for several of the students and the first for a few others. My student Tonio is presenting on the work he did with me a year ago, we're fielding a Jeopardy! team for the second year running, and our department's faculty are presenting on everything from low-stakes writing activities (guess who?) to peer mentoring programs for Calc I courses. I'm just looking forward to the drive and a night or two to sort out some of the last revisions on the book before submitting it.

I've got one more conference coming up, at the end of next week. The annual Conference on College Composition and Communication ("Cs," as the comp/rhet people call it) takes place next week in Atlanta. It's my first. I'm looking forward to hammering out the next step on the research on REU writing Bella, Damian, and Nicola and I will be taking again this summer, and to meeting a few more folks in the composition community. (Moreover, from what I've heard, the publishers' receptions are pretty much the bomb...I've already been told about Bedford/St. Martin's shindig at Turner Field.)

Almost there...almost there...hang in there, my friends; we're almost there.

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