on the road again: alabama to florida

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(This was written yesterday morning...)

One night in Birmingham at my stepdaughter's house, four in Randolph at the Lawley Farm. Now we're back on the road, headed to a week of relaxation on the beach in Navarre, Florida. The boys are in the back seat, playing Super Smash Brothers Melee (ah, the luxury of a built in video system with hookups for a game console), I'm in the front seat with several fully-charged batteries.

We didn't have much Internet connectivity on this trip. I was able to check email occasionally on my mother-in-law's dial-up connection, and last night Gerald and I went to dinner in Montevallo and made a brief stop in the parking lot of a cafe with free wifi. The cafe was closed, but their network was running, so I took advantage of it to grab the developer's beta version of MT3.1 so I could work on the courseware this week.

While it was nice to see family in Alabama, it was also difficult in some ways. There's something about being in a parent's house that brings out the ten-year-old in all of us, and that's often not a good thing. Being in recovery helped us deal with those stresses much better than we have in the past, however, and unlike our trip two years ago, we're headed down to the Gulf already in pretty good spirits.

Much as I'd like to spend this next week doing nothing but soaking up sun and salt spray, September's rapid approach has me thinking about work. I actually had my first teaching nightmare in a long time last night. In it, I watched from my office as my colleague Weez led a masterful class, which ended with the students singing and swaying with her gospel-style. That would have been fine, except the students that went into the classroom after her class sat there for 90 minutes before I realized that I was supposed to be teaching them--I'd somehow confused the times on my schedule, and thought I was teaching at 6 rather than at 4. I rushed into the classroom as they were beginning to leave, most of them angry and demanding refunds of their tuition. Ugh. (Weez thought this was pretty funny when I recounted it to her...I haven't yet gotten to to that point.)

So there's a balance to be struck this week. Some rest and relaxation, certainly. But also a gradual ramping up of intellectual activity--work on the grant research, and course prep (not to mention memorization of my teaching schedule!) so that the re-entry shock next week isn't too great.

2 TrackBacks

Ode to Autumn II from scribblingwoman on August 27, 2004 4:07 PM

Joseph Duemer teaches poetry, gets tired, ponders his academic image, and looks at the big picture. Amanda also has bad... Read More

Ode to Autumn from scribblingwoman on August 27, 2004 4:08 PM

Kieran Healy has a funny back-to-school post at Crooked Timber, A.F. Jones keeps a high academic profile, PowerProf is pumped,... Read More


Glad to see you are finally at the beach and blogging again. I sure can relate to the teaching nightmare. Better dream it than do it. Oddly, just today I received the following in an email from a friend at another university (she's a professor of classics)-- and it was not a dream! But note the positive ending:

The semester began today, and I screwed up -- thought my afternoon class was at 1:30 and it was at 12:30! Fortunately, someone came and got me and the kids were still all there -- 15 minutes later!!! I guess I was unwilling to face up to having only about 30 min. between classes.

Oh well. Nowhere to go but up.

Well, I STILL think it's funny.

Preach! Sistah, Preach!

I had visions of students moved by the spirit dancing in between the computers. Maybe you just need to be in my head.

I, too, hope you get to the point of laughing at it soon, for it's not only funny, it is also very real. To me, dreams become nightmares when the fantasy becomes a bit too real. And although students aren't likely to break out into the wave during one of Weez's classes anytime soon, there is some truth to the almost religious experience one gets from a great instructor. And while students will think nothing of blowing off a class on a whim, if an instructor follows suit you can almost hear the cries of anarchy all the way to the student services office. After all, it is their money to blow any way they see fit.

If it helps at all, you also possess the power that converts the masses into believers, and sends them singing down the aisle and out the door. I've taken one of your classes, so I know this for a fact. All you have to do is show up. =)

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This page contains a single entry by Liz Lawley published on August 24, 2004 9:41 PM.

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