Maker's mark, Drakesbad Ranch Saddle, July 2009 trip
Despite the poor economy and related chaos, today was lovely. My class of 140+ is going to be entirely manageable--I don't think my teaching strategies will change too much at all (though exam formats will feature virtually no subjective questions save one--but that is more related to the 10% workload-reduction-mandate than anything else). All the newly upgraded smart technology and bells and whistles worked just fine (in fact, they performed wonderfully given their last minute installation). Didn't need my laptop--just my flashdrive. I was able to use the PC in the smartdeck and get to all the critical websites. For ONCE, I could walk my students through the process of finding course-related info and demonstrate how to log onto the course site without dragging in a cable, hooking it up, blah, blah, blah. Anyway, a big yahoo. Oh, and the chairs were all screwed back down to the floor boards. This is a huge improvement over the condition of the room at 5 pm on Sunday. I love teaching and working on a university campus. Sappy as it sounds, even on a bad day (working with complete loser/burned-out &/or completely selfish faculty), I've never once questioned my decision to be a professor. Today, a freshman struck up a conversation with me in the bookstore and we ended up walking halfway across campus together--mostly because she was feeling overwhelmed by all the "course choices on campus" and wondered if she was abnormal because her mom had told her she should already know what her major needed to be, and she was so happy to hear me say that very few people know this kind of thing at her age or stage, or stay in the field they first declare as a major. A cute athlete and musician and all around smart kid. In the space of 15 minutes she was able to articulate how privileged she felt to be in college, how her parents had really worked hard to send her to a private high school (in nearby city), how she wants to respect their labor and dreams for her, but also wants to realize and follow her own passion, as well she should. We parted ways in front of my building, but she asked if she could stop by my office sometime and talk about her undeclared status and volunteer opportunities on campus (no classes between 9 and 2 pm MWF). That's my sacchrine post for today. Glad I've got one, because there is enough to complain about in any given day.
farmers market bounty, mid-August; enlarge to see why I love my new camera