Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A Day in the Life

Well, here I am. All set up in the brand new library in the brand new building on the brand new branch campus of the college where I work. Fancy new computers and StarBoards in every classroom, new furniture and bookshelves.... and books from the main campus library dating back 30 years or more. Sigh. They didn't plan for a book budget for the library, so I had to go through the main branch and pull "copy twos" to transfer up here. At least my stacks are not completely empty! Though, perhaps, it is a good thing that I don't have many books. They only sent me 15 sections of library shelving. I was supposed to get 28. So the library has a good bit of echo in it, as I rattle around in the empty room. ::heh::

As if setting up a new facility isn't enough, I also agreed to teach two 10-week classes. Those of you who know me, please pick your jaw up off the floor. Yes, I am Teaching. Two. Classes. Thinking about a roomful of thirty students expecting me to know what I'm doing has stirred up the butterflies quite fiercely. And it's not even a library instruction class - it's two sections of "Orientation to College", something akin to a Freshman Seminar teaching good study habits and time management and where the buisness office is. I try to think of it as a way to connect with some of the students, many who will come before my desk in the library at some point desperately seeking help on a research project, or at least asking me to show them how to use the catalog.

I have the shiny new laptop here on my desk, which I will soon have to take down the hall to my classroom and hook it up to the StarBoard. The Board was only installed this morning, so no one is quite sure if it even works properly. I don't plan to use it for anything, but I have to run the laptop through it if I want to connect to the internet. And if I want to show my students the new Blackboard interface for our online coursework, I need to connect to the internet. Otherwise I will have to stand there and say, "Close your eyes. Invision a computer screen!" Right now the gallumphing butterflies in my belly are convincing me without a doubt that this is exactly what is going to happen.

I never thought of myself as a teacher. I am far too self-depreciating, and nowhere near thick-skinned enough to deal with cranky students on a daily basis. I watch my professor husband with awe as he (seemingly) effortlessly works on his classes. I say "seemingly", because really, he put huge amounts of effort into every class he's ever taught, both in preparation and grading as well as student interaction. My objectives are nowhere near as lofty as his, and for that I am insanely grateful.

So my "first day of class" continues, and I look forward to the end of my first ten-hour day with joy and abandon. I plan to go home, kick off the shoes, have a cup of tea and some tomato soup, and watch some meaningless television. Heck, I may even watch GhostHunters!

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