Sunday, September 09, 2007

ora pro nobis

Today marks the last day of our strange, nearly two-week break (the two-week period was interrupted by two days of interviewing). The weather has remained fairly consistent: evenings are definitely cooler, less humid. I'm hoping that this semester goes well, but historically, the fall semester tends to be the worst in terms of attendance: the leaves start falling, the skies go grayer and cooler, and the students' collective behavior seems to follow the weather as people look forward to winter vacation. As always, students will choose their for-credit coursework over our non-credit courses if there's ever a scheduling conflict.

I've got everything just about done: the various course calendars, all laid out on a single sheet so that I don't have to photocopy different sets for different classes, was finished over a week ago. The new writeup about class conduct is finished, as is the handout that discusses textbooks and grade distribution (quizzes 15%, homework 20%, midterm 25%, etc.). I have to go in and finish up some first-day activity sheets, but that shouldn't take too long. Perhaps a Namsan hike to finish off the evening, then an early date with the bed and a 6:30AM wakeup call. Damn, I hate mornings (check out Malcolm's post on the subject).

We're back to five days a week, and because it's only an eleven-week semester, we're working long days every day. This is why we had a two-week break this time around instead of the usual one-week hiatus between terms: at our last faculty meeting, we agreed to work slightly longer days to have longer breaks. We also get the entire week of Chuseok off, which is nice, but that holiday comes early this year, around the third or fourth week of September. I'd much rather have the break sometime in October, but so be it-- if nothing else, I'm thankful we get the entire week off.

I've got eleven students in my 7:40AM Level 2 class, eight in the 8:50AM Level 2 class, and three in the 1:10PM Level 2 class. I've got only three students registered for French, three for CNN English, and a whopping seventeen for pronunciation, which ought to be a heads-up to management about what sort of class the students want. We'll see how the numbers shuffle around, as they usually do, during the first two weeks of term. The trick will be to keep the small classes from disappearing entirely. The loss of even a single student represents a significant loss of in-class energy, which is draining on both teachers and students. Wish us luck, or as the title of this post says, pray for us.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's obvious you enjoy your work. Why don't you get a PhD and become a prof already?