Sunday, August 24, 2014

The More Things Change


Friends,

Do you ever wonder what a professor goes through before a new semester starts?  Well then, read no further.  In an effort to be more multi-disciplinary and all that crap, I am changing things up this semester.  While my actual class will still be pretty much the same, I am changing the requirements up a bit.  With all Intro US History courses, there is a big, thick, expensive, and boring textbook that no one ever reads.  I understand that and there is nothing I can do about it.  So in an effort to incorporate something interesting that people actually will read, I am adding the above pictured novels.  The one on the left is for my 1302 courses and the one on the right is for my 1301 course.

There will be two quizzes on the aforementioned novels and a writing assignment linked to them as well.  I think that if my students actually give the books a chance they may actually like them.  It typically takes me a week to prepare for a fall or spring semester.  I have to not only get my class materials ready (syllabus, schedule, etc) but I also have to upload it onto Blackboard.  Then I have to get my online courses set up too.  It is a lot more work than it sounds like.  And I get paid for none of it.  One of the downsides to being a lowly adjunct is that we only get paid for the time that we are in front of the class and not for prep time, grading, etc.  I am teaching nine courses this fall for three different schools.  In addition to this I am taking my second graduate course during the first eight weeks and third during the second eight weeks.  It is going to be a busy fall.

I always get butterflies on the first day of class, just as I did when I was a student.  I put a lot of pressure on myself and I feel an almost holy obligation to my students.  Some semesters I do really well and others, like this summer, I am off my game a little bit.  I hope I can recoup my mojo going into the fall.  A lot of that depends on how my back holds up and what my pain levels are.

My name is Lee Hutch and I am a Half A$$ Historian who may not get a lot of sleep tonight.

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