Thursday, January 08, 2015

Time to start again

Our Spring semester starts Monday. The good news is all my classes "made" and I have a 12-credit-hour semester rather than the 17-credit-hour one (I did not get 'credit' for two of those credit hours, so no extra pay, because it was a team-taught class; my campus is not good at dealing with load for team-taught classes and I suspect they'd really rather no one ever did them, because figuring out stuff like load for them is "hard")

My intro level class this semester is quite small but that will be good after two sections of it last semester. The problem any more with intro level classes is that there's a certain percentage of the students you have to 'socialize' into college (e.g.: "don't talk to the person sitting next to you because the person in the next row, who actually gives a crap about their grade, can't hear the class") and there are also the people who are just lost and scared. I'm not that good at being a cheerleader/den mother for scared college freshmen because I admit I'm not always 100% sympathetic - when I went off to college, my mom and dad moved an old armchair and carpet scrap into my dorm room, I unpacked my books and clothes, and my mom and dad were like, "Bye! See you at Thanksgiving! We know you can take care of any problems that come up!" and I was kind of, sort of, on my own from there. (That was largely because I was at a school some five hours from my parents - not like they could drive up and fix things even if they felt compelled to). So on some level, I expect the students to be able to grow up enough to find their own help.

And yes, I get that some may need counseling or other professional help; the thing is, I'm not qualified to give it.

So I'm hoping for a low drama semester. Last semester was FAIRLY low drama, at least compared to some, but I could really do with an even-lower-drama one. I have a manuscript I want to finish and get out this spring; I have an idea for a future research project I want to develop and if too much of my mental real estate is taken up by people's problems, I can't do that.

(I wonder if this is really why a lot of women choose not to go into research: either the way our brains work or the way we are socialized, we tend to put others' needs first, and to be a serious researcher you pretty much need not to do that. In fact, to be a really serious, big-deal researcher, you probably need a partner at home who will do all the housework, laundry, marketing, cooking, and bill-paying, to free you up for that. I think this is also why so many of the "canonical" writers have been men: back in the day, a married woman's time was taken up with raising children and housework (or with directing the servants to do the same) and even today, if you're a single woman, your life is heavily centered on getting crap done so you don't have as much time to devote to creating. I wonder at the really productive writers or composers or whatever - did most of them have a "carer" who did all the cooking and such, or did they have super-confident, super-capable servants who just silently attended to everything?)

At any rate: I need to carve out research time this semester and the schedule I have will hopefully make that easier.

No comments: