Sunday, November 25, 2007

final week approaching

The final week of term starts tomorrow; we finish on Friday the 30th. It's great that I don't have to create yet another 25-page packet this week, though I do still have to compose two final exams and finish checking and grading student journals. This promises to be a much more relaxed week for me than all previous weeks; grading tests on my own time is no big deal, and we'll be finishing the term with the traditional jjong-parties (i.e., end-of-term parties). I don't think I'll be cooking this time around, but I will be doing a Costco run for party supplies. Costco will probably be my savior for future jjong-parties-- of which I have only one or two left in my career at Smoo.

Stepping back and looking at the big picture, I can say it's been a tough, tiring, but good semester. Attendance for my classes has been better than expected for the fall term, which is traditionally the laziest term for my department. I'm happy that my classes quickly boiled themselves down to a proportionately large* core of faithful students early in the semester, and that that faithful core has remained both consistent and loyal all this time. I'll also be curious to see my evals this coming week; students filled them out last week.

Then, starting Saturday, December 1st, I'll be prepping for my Tuesday trip out to Europe. I've got gifts to buy and personal effects to prepare. We'll see how it goes.

Ah, yes: it's highly doubtful I'll be blogging while in Europe, so I'll be preparing a little something to release, bit by bit, during my absence. Maybe a series of short essays, maybe some nasty poetry, maybe some 100 Belows, or maybe even some comics. You'll soon know.

I hope to come back from Europe with photos of my French and Swiss families, and if it's cold enough, I hope to take pictures of two of my favorite Swiss locales-- les Gorges du Götteron in Fribourg (where my brother David and I met a deep-voiced dwarf), and Interlaken, my favorite place on the planet.

I've never seen Interlaken in any season but early summer, but I've gone hiking through the Götteron many, many times. It starts way down in the Altstadt, the Old City, by the River Sarine, and the gorge narrows until you have no choice but to hike some steep paths back up to Fribourg proper, or to Bourguillon, or to nearby Marly.

As you walk the lower portion of the path, the part inside the gorge, you pass houses and gardens and huge, barking dogs-- a neighborhood that, thanks to the gorge, sees only a small slice of sunlight every day. I've often wondered what it'd be like to live in such a locale; the overall feeling is very sylvan, very eldritch, very Lord of the Rings.

Oh, yes: I'm looking forward to my brief time in Europe.

*For example, my CNN class started off with 6 students but dwindled to 4. By our normally lame standards, that's pretty good. The same goes for a class that began with 2, increased to 5, then settled at 3. My worst class, though, my 8:50AM class, started so optimistically with 10, then dwindled to 3. My first class, in the meantime, still averages 6-8 people, which is not bad, especially compared to previous early-morning classes that shrank to only 1 or 2 people.



Gitte said...

Forgive my nasty question, but is Hooters one of the reasons why you like Interlaken so much? Might have been the first Hooters on European ground. What a shame. Have fun on the greatest continent in this planet, Gitte

Kevin Kim said...

I didn't even know that there WAS a Hooters in Interlaken! News to me. When I go to Interlaken, it's for the amazing landscape, not the puny human establishments (shopping, restos, etc.). I usually go there to hike and camp, although this time I won't be camping-- I'll be in a hotel.