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Professor mamas 2011

post #1 of 196
Thread Starter 

Can we give up 2009?  LOL.


classes start the 10th, but i have to start back next week with meetings and a search committee.  joy!

post #2 of 196

Thanks Carita!


Heck, why not just skip to 2012? 


Classes here don't start until after MLK, Jr. Day, but I have a paper to finish this week... Our campus has been closed for the past week and a half.  We aren't sure if they turn the heat back up tomorrow or Tuesday, but I'm going to go for it.


This has been a nice winter break - one of those breaks that you actually feel rested after.


Happy New Years Prof Moms!

post #3 of 196

Happy New Year!


I didn't get a break this year. I've been doing half days to meet all of the deadlines that I have in January. However, I have had the luxury of only working on one thing at a time. I will finish a federal grant proposal by the 6th and then have to work on papers/classes for this semester. We start on the 12th.


post #4 of 196
Thread Starter 

i was sort of afraid that if i didn't start a new thread, it would never happen! 


we have professional development days wednesday and thursday.  i was going to go in today, but i am down and out with a cold.  i finished my syllabii from home and posted them to my course website.  i need to make up some homework assignments, and prep lecture though.  i am only teaching 1 new prep, which is nice, but its a little out of my area of comfortability.  i'm sure it will be fine, but it'll require careful prep.

post #5 of 196

My dh has just accepted the most crazy work load he has ever experienced in his life. It's akin to when I was nursing a baby and working 2 (PT) jobs while finishing my dissertation. I'm imagining a totally crazy semester followed by a lovely summer.


Myself: classes don't start almost a week after MLK day. But I'm here, using my preschool time to get some syllabi writing done. That's all so I can procrastinate my paper writing a little bit longer. It should write itself fairly quickly, but I'm still dreading the first paragraph (funny how that happens isn't it?). At least my syllabi will be uber complete this semester. I got screwed a few times last semester because they weren't complete enough. This term they will be as bulletproof as they can be. I'm working on 8 pages so far. I hate that. But I also hate when people complain about a policy or something.

post #6 of 196

subbing - yay for a 2011 thread!

having the most fun at a conference this week :)

post #7 of 196


A high school teacher/friend asked me for a list of books that involve geology either in the plot or in the setting. She'd like to encourage learning literacy across the curriculum and is asking for a list of books for the library at the high school to consider purchasing. Have any of you seen such a list online? thanks.

post #8 of 196

Kristin - I do not know of such a list, sorry


Hi Rock Dr. - haven't heard from you much lately


kerc - wow, that schedule is crazy


We started classes yesterday but I was gone to Houston and Monday is MLK so it looks like my first class is next Wed. Time to look at the syllabus.

post #9 of 196
Wow, there's a new thread! Amazing! lol.gif

Classes started last week. So far so good, with the possible exception of the online student who emailed me on the second day to ask if she could be exempted from the concert paper assignment. Her rationale? She'll be in Indiana for two months. Seeing as (a) one can find classical music concerts in Indiana, and (b) she can attend a concert anytime during the semester here or in Indiana, her request was denied.

The world music class is small as usual, and a bit quiet. Most of them seem interested in world beat-type music, so I think I'm going to revise my lectures a bit to present the basics and then talk about the musical characteristics as presented through the modern music in that culture.

Finally, I am going to start writing the article I've been meaning to write since I defended my diss. When I was running this afternoon, it occurred to me that I just need to start writing 5 sentences a night until I'm done. Then I started trying to write the first one in my head and started stressing over how to open the article. That was quickly followed by the realization that the solution is to apply the Dingo running mantra "don't think, just run" to my writing: "don't think, just write." No doubt it will mean a LOT of editing, but at least I'll have something to edit.
post #10 of 196

I just started my very first lecture job last week at our local CC.


Can I join the tribe?

post #11 of 196
Originally Posted by kerc View Post


A high school teacher/friend asked me for a list of books that involve geology either in the plot or in the setting. She'd like to encourage learning literacy across the curriculum and is asking for a list of books for the library at the high school to consider purchasing. Have any of you seen such a list online? thanks.

Tracy Chevalier, Remarkable Creatures (I'm waiting for it at the library - I love Chevalier, but I haven't read this one - I discovered it because DD decided to do a report on Mary Anning)

Phyllis Whitney, The Fire and the Gold (Might be a tad racy, but I read it in 7th (?) grade.)

Cold, Privileged Hands:  A Scientific Life (fascinating biography of Geerat Vermeij)

Verne, 20000 Leagues Under the Sea; Journey to the Center of the Earth


Alvarez, T Rex and the Crater of Doom

Allende, Daughter of Fortune

du Bois, Twenty One Balloons (ohhh, can't wait until DD can read that...)

post #12 of 196
Originally Posted by Jessnet View Post

I just started my very first lecture job last week at our local CC.


Can I join the tribe?

Welcome Jessnet!


Classes here started last week.  I only have one class this semester, which is a welcome change from last one.  I may actually get some research done for a change.  I have a paper due at the end of this week and another (short one) due at the end of February.  I realized that I do get things done with deadlines, so perhaps it's good that these papers actually have deadlines. 



post #13 of 196

Thanks for sharing those books Geofizz. I already had most of them on the list....you know what they say about great minds.


Kaybee I wish I had a deadline for the paper I'm writing. Then it might actually be done.


Welcome Jessnet!




Classes began yesterday for me. I'm teaching 3 classes (one is an overload -- online course). The prep is a little daunting. My first review is in just over a week, my notebook of "evidence" is due Friday. bag.gif I have a few pieces of evidence stuck in a folder on top of said notebook but otherwise haven't started it yet. I had a really tough semester last semester -- most of my work (80%) is teaching and dealing with students. Both of my classes went (in my opinion) horribly. They were both classes I'd taught before but for a variety of reasons didn't go well. I was dreading the reviews. Fortunately my reviews came back just in time to include in my portfolio eyesroll.gif  but actually they weren't as bad as I was expecting. 


post #14 of 196
Thread Starter 

SO I am up for promotion early... i negotiated it b/c I have spent forever in grad school and I am competing salary wise with people with master's degrees.  I get reviewed this spring/next fall, then they vote next spring I guess.


I have to do my freaking defense, LOL, but other than that, I feel I have set myself up nicely.  I have started some discussion groups, serving on a search committee and a self review committee, have done little things like judge a poster session, serve on a panel, etc., started rehaul of courses in my dept, over the summer leading in to the job i presented a couple of posters.  I only have a year to make my case that I am worth promoting.  what do you think?  anything else i should do besides document the above?  i don't feel promotion is as competitive as where I was in grad school, as this is just a teaching college without tenure, but I am wondering if there is any reason why I should not seek promotion.


semester is okay except for a case of laryngitis.  its been interesting.  ;)

post #15 of 196

Hey all!  We're in week 3 at my school.  So far so good.


I'm teaching 2 classes that I haven't taught before and one that is old hat.  Its amazing how much more prep time the new classes take.  LOL.  I'm working on ways to make my class that doesn't have a lab more interactive... I need some small group activities that move the material forward but don't eat too much instructional time.

post #16 of 196

I know Kaybee can relate to this:

Why is it that you can get yourself all set up for a good start to the semester, spend hours on the first week's prep and then something happens (either in the lab or in your personal life) and you spend the first two weeks running to catch up?


Blech. I think I'm recovering from that process right now.


I also had a very very very short notice (like less than a week) of the hard deadline for my first year's portfolio. Which was ok, but my school bases it all (ok 95%) on teaching and frankly my reviews from last semester, my first as a t-t professor, were the worst of the five semesters I have worked there. So it took a little thinking to figure out how to handle that. Yesterday was my review meeting. They pick a student from your classes, ask that student questions for 5 minutes. I pick a student, they ask the same questions. Then I get to speak for 5-10 minutes and then they discuss whether I get to stay next year. I had a really hard time putting my words together to say (and got zero guidance on what to actually say), but the limited feedback I got yesterday afternoon was good. I did also manage to effectively point out that I've been filling this position for 2 years by myself, effectively one geologist. Full access to the rock collection. But they hired two of us (i.e made a second geology position) and now I go to pick up a piece of granite to show to my class and bam, other guy has it.


My classes are off to a good start, despite my craziness. Somehow I realized that the lecture I wrote last week for yesterday (on radioactivity, something I know a fair bit about) was too complex. So i punted and decided to spend a few days this week explicitly talking about rocks and the rock cycle. Students seemed to like it and I also passed around rocks. That always goes well. Note to self: classroom manipulatives --> bonus.


I talked to my daughter's teacher this week and discovered that apparently in second grade in her classroom there are a few other kids who can read at her level, but that most of them like to spend their day flirting with the opposite sex. What?! Second grade?!!!  My daughter usually prefers to play with girls -- she's not super physical. But she certainly enjoys her time with a handful of boys that have been friends for a while. Second grade flirtation?!  (sorry, not really about being a professor, other than about volunteering in daughter's classroom). Mini rant: why do they do dinosaurs in every freaking grade? There's way more interesting things to spend time thinking about than dinosaurs. Do I admit that I'm a geologist and can only identify maybe 2-3 by name?

post #17 of 196
Originally Posted by Dmitrizmom View Post

I'm teaching 2 classes that I haven't taught before and one that is old hat.  Its amazing how much more prep time the new classes take.  LOL.  I'm working on ways to make my class that doesn't have a lab more interactive... I need some small group activities that move the material forward but don't eat too much instructional time.

What's the class? (es?)


post #18 of 196

Carita - I don't have advice on promotion, but wow, that is the fast-track!  If your colleagues (esp. your chair) think you are ready, that's great. 


Kerc  - I know about rough semester starts.  Although spending a week at a funeral and not going to Africa meant that I ended up with same amount of time, in the end.  Just mentally destabilizing.


We get reviewed annually here, too.  My mentor stopped by yesterday to ask if we can talk on Monday so he has enough ammunition to quell any naysayers when the entire rest of the department gets together to discuss my file next week.  There are a few people who tend to emphasize the negative in every situation instead of the positive (She could have been doing more of X.  Why wasn't she spending more of her time on Y?), and he wants to make sure nothing like that shows up in my review.  Most people think I'm doing fine. 


Our department just resurrected it's "Dinosaurs" class.  There is nobody on the faculty who can teach Dinosaurs, or at least nobody who wants to teach it.  Thus, we have to hire someone outside every single time.  (Which is fine for her, but an odd approach to class planning.)


For radioactivity, I use the "boring lecture syndrome" example.  If you have 140 students in a 50 minute class, and every 10 minutes, half of them leave, how many students are left at the end of lecture?  And if you came in and counted students and empty seats, could you tell when lecture started?  And what assumptions do you have to make (no empty seats to start with, no other reason students are leaving the class, etc.).


I finished my 1st paper by its deadline!  But the next one is due on Feb. 28th, and I just started it.  Urk.  It's short, really short, and it's a review of work that's basically done, but these things still take awhile.


And in happy news - my dh just got his certified letter from the vice-chancellor recommending tenure!  It still has to pass the chancellor and the board of regents, but hopefully those are just rubber stamps. 

post #19 of 196

Hey, shiny new thread!


I wasn't too active in the old thread, but I thought I'd pop over here to pat myself on the back. orngtongue.gif


I got tenure! YAY!  biggrinbounce.gif


I just started back in Jan. after being off a semester on maternity leave.  This was a great way to start the new semester!


Oddly enough, I now find myself saying "Now what?"  I'm at a CC, so the signposts are not very clear.  There is no "now work on book #2" or "now present at two major conferences a year." I love having this freedom, which is one of the many reasons why I love teaching at a CC, but now I'm faced with the challenge of how to direct my career.  Some of my colleagues make the foray into admin after tenure, but that is not something I'm interested in pursuing at this time.  Others, of course, settle in and get comfortable for the next 20 years (although, to be honest, there are not too many people who do that in my department).  Has anyone redefined herself after tenure and pursued various interests that she could not do prior to tenure?  I'm actually thinking about completing my novel (I have written about half of it) and rethinking of myself as a novelist/professor.  I could even apply for a sabbatical to do this--my CC is very supportive of creative endeavors.  I'm still young (late 30s), so I feel like I have time now to redefine my career on my terms.


Just musing out loud here.  Any thoughts?  Personal stories?

post #20 of 196

kerc - it's my Environmental Science class.  A 3 hour, non-lab, general science fulfillment class.  LOL  We do the entire book from introduction to the topic, global warming, human population and world hunger, fossil fuels and renewable energy sources, management of natural resources, etc.  We cover a lot of ground. (pardon the pun).  The CC I'm at does offer a lab class for those that are interested. In the past, I've taken the students to a local park to do a biodiversity index, sent the on a search of the local grocery stores for local items or for items that don't contain HFCS.  They do a footprint quiz at the beginning of the class too.

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