Tuesday, September 06, 2005

A First Day List

Today was my first official day of teaching at my new institution of higher learning. Here's some of what happened.

1. Arrived bright and early (8:40 am) to discover that I *still* didn't have a key to my office. Considered going to Public Safety myself to slap some folks around, but fortunately the previous owner of the office arrived, was given the key to her new office, and thus bestowed upon me her old key. More on my office later.

2. Walked across campus (okay, not that far) to get iced mocha with three shots o' energy.

3. Returned to English department and arranged to have my writing classes' syllabi copied. Office was of course out of copy request forms, so invented some on notebook paper.

4. Slyly took over copier while Office Guy was busy with students to copy my linguistics syllabus for 11am class.

4.5 Try to access school's webportal and email. No luck. Email IT folks for assistance. Unable to look up updated class lists.

5. Took library reserve materials to library. Handed over form for linguistics class which listed two books owned by the library. Circ person says, "I hope they're on the shelf!" Gee, I hope so too, since their records indicated they were.

6. Stopped in at Writing Lab (not run by department) to pick up required "confirming essay" for Wednesday's writing classes. Basically a diagnostic exam, this is supposed to "confirm" that students have been placed in the appropriate writing course. Prompts are very...well...let's just say they invite formulaic response.

7. Walked over to bookstore to see if my assigned texts are in. They are--good news! Wanted to buy something, but line snakes on forever. Never mind.

8. (Okay, let's be honest. I wanted to buy one of my own texts, because I foolishly neglected to request a desk copy in a timely manner, and it still hasn't arrived. Hope it gets here before those classes meet next week...)

9. Moved on to the Science Building (real name) to locate classroom for 11am linguistics class. Found it, and settled in to use the remaining half hour to collect my thoughts and outline first day activities.

10. 10:50am. No students yet. Hmmm.

11. 10:55am. No students yet. (Maybe these students are more relaxed about arrival times?)

12. 11:00am. Worried. Begin to call registrar, then stop to re-check schedule.

13. 11:01am. [slaps head] Realize I'm in the Monday classroom, not the Tuesday classroom. (Yes, two different rooms. Apparently usual procedure around here.)

14. Gather up belongings and run down hall to correct room. Room is occupied by another English prof., complete with her class.

15. Try calling registrar. No answer. Call English department. Office Guy looks up room and discovers I've been reassigned. To a room across campus.

16. Scurry across campus, completely discombobulated. Arrive in classroom sweaty and out of breath.

17. Students are charming and lovely. They verify where we'll be meeting the following week. They, of course, have access to updated records via school webportal. Unlike moi.

18. Have excellent discussion with small group of junior and senior English majors, all women.

19. Decide to check out my new office. I'd already seen it, so wasn't shocked. It's the size of a walk-in closet, with overhead fluorescent, broken swing-arm wall lamp, non-functioning and well-worn telephone, newish dell desktop I can turn on but can't use (because my webportal login isn't yet operational). Oh, and former resident's belongings are still neatly stacked on the two spare chairs, awaiting transport (as they have for three weeks) to her new office.

20. Leave stack o' belongings in office (storage seems to be its primary use at this point) and sneak up to photocopier to do some more copying.

21. Depart for home. Wait over 30 minutes for bus. (Well, one slowed down and honked at us, but none of us were sure how to interpret that.) Crowd onto bus with many, many others. Use death grip to cling to overhead bar. Woman rings bell for stop near home. Bus careens by stop. I try to press button again, thus brushing right breast against bald head of young man on seat. Bus careens past next stop. We yell. Bus finally stops. Almost had back doors closed on me.

22. Walk home on sore feet. Collapse on couch and tell Ms J about my morning.

23. Spend hour blogging while listening to "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me." Feel much better.


aerobil said...

Good lord, Susan, this sounds like one of my teaching nightmares! Ack.

madeline said...

I never know if people are happy I've accidentally rubbed my breast on them, or if they're annoyed.

I always simply tell myself that they're lucky to have touched my breasts. That way I don't get soooo embarrassed.

senioritis said...

Wow. Dude.

Dr. Write said...

Congratulations on surviving! I have an office, which is in a "dead zone" (okay, they call it a "dead spot" but I like "zone" better) and so the campus wireless doesn't work here. I have a phone, but no dial tone. On the plus side, my office has a window and a closet where I can hide stuff.
And for my money, they _are_ always glad when they get rubbed by the breast. I mean, c'mon.