Sunday, December 1, 2013

Why December Sucks

This December sucks.Why? My son has surgery in a couple of weeks. I have surgery a week after that. My wife gets to sit around and play nurse. Twice. Merry friggin Christmas.

Yeah, December sucks.

But I'm scheduled to teach again this January. I better. Otherwise the following classes are gonna be a problem:
  • JOUR3410 lecture, in which I drone on and on to 130 or so introductory journalism and public relations students.  They then take smaller writing labs. Which leads us to ...
  • JOUR3410 Honors Lab, in which I do pretty much the same as above, but with 16 Honors students. They write and write and write. Loads of grading for me, and as an Honors class I treat this as a standalone course to give it more rigor.
  • Public Opinion, a graduate seminar that meets once a week for three hours at a time to discuss one of my favorite topics. I have no idea how many students are in there this time. It's sometimes as many as 25, but probably more like 15. Those three hours are going to be tough with my semi-voice.
  • Freshman Odyssey, in which freshman get a small group feel with a senior faculty member. Our topic is social media. Basically, they'll learn about social science and the effects and consequences of Facebook, et al.
Yup, I'm on a 2-2 load. Except not. Somehow, faculty slumming with a 3410 lab get to count that as a single class. I get to count the lecture and lab -- an Honors lab no less -- as a single class. Been this way for over 10 years. That's why I make the big money.

So with luck, my surgery this December will return my one vocal cord to enough working order that I can manage the classes above. Odds are I'll use a Mr. Microphone even in the smaller classes, just to reduce the strain. Assuming the surgery works, that is. Basically they will go in, close the gap caused by a dead vocal cord, plop in a Gor-Tex insert to keep it closed, and one vocal cord will do all the work. Forever.

Stay tuned.

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