February 28, 2002

Preparations for a trip

I have a bit of a bind this weekend, traveling to a gig (yes, a concert) where someone else is paying for my travel—and also getting some stuff done work-wise over the weekend. My students this week handed in a set of papers, and so I'll be reading them on the flights (while with my daughter). No chance of getting to them while I'm in San Jose, but that's life. I'll just have to crack down and work this afternoon and tomorrow morning, before I go.

I had a chat with my chair Tuesday morning about my limited time and expanded work. He'd probably advise me to be careful in how much time I spend writing a weblog. I agree. I think my primary task at the moment is to figure out how to be a better supervisor of graduate assistants and research and clerical staff. I hate the task of following up on things, but I think I just have to knuckle down, plan a set of tasks with a timeline, and follow up.

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Posted in Random comments at 9:40 AM (Permalink) |

February 20, 2002

To go in or not to go in

Wednesday, when I need to pick my children up and drop them off with my spouse before I head to the faculty senate meeting. Do I head to the office or work at home? Unfortunately, I needed to commute, because I needed to print out quizzes for my Wednesday night class, drop off copies of some documents for a colleague, check in with a staff member on a project, and pick up a packet of materials to be copied for a faculty senate committee, if I'm guessing something correctly. And I was hoping to get some other work done! Alas, poor Yorick.

The virtual chat last night worked well for some of the students who came (five or six), who asked questions, and I wore my fingers out typing back my responses. I was disappointed by the turnout, but we'll see if "attendance" picks up in the next few weeks.

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Posted in Personal at 1:05 PM (Permalink) |

February 19, 2002

More computer troubles, and life

This time, the computer problems are local, with my desktop. It's probably not a virus (though I should update the virus definition files I have, to make certain). My colleague Barbara Shircliffe had to have her whole computer reinstalled, and I hope it doesn't come to that before I get a new computer (which I've told is on order ... though it's supposed to come later this week).

In the meantime, I'm caught up on weekly student work, have the annual review stuff drafted, will try the virtual chat tonight with undergraduates, have read the draft dissertation proposal I was supposed to, and can try to do some playing with numbers.

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Posted in Random comments at 9:49 AM (Permalink) |

February 15, 2002

Computer Fritz

Who cares, at the moment, if the college's server is down? Well, most in the college do, since they rely on the servers for the software. I won't get into Tech Support politics at the moment, except to say that I have locally-installed software (with the proper licenses), so it does not affect me except when I need to print (which I don't think I will need to, this morning).

Up today:

  • Working on my annual review efficiently and without too much enthusiasm. What's the point, when there are no merit raises forthcoming this year, with the state's budget in disarray? The tenure packet was far more important (he said, bluntly).
  • Getting back to analysis of the GEAR UP data I have, and getting on top of other stuff on it. GEAR UP stands for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, a federally funded set of projects to encourage children attending schools with high proportions in free and reduced lunch programs to attend college. USF has one of the projects, now in its third year, and I'm the internal evaluator.
  • Looking at data on Florida education as part of my role in the Consortium for Educational Research in Florida (CERF). I have a few items on tap, and I want to get to it while the classes are requiring less of my time.
  • Following up on my requests to USF's Academic Computing about combining the Blackboard sites for my two sections of Social Foundations, so I can conduct an on-line chat for both of them simultaneously.
  • Reading a draft dissertation proposal for a graduate student.

Updated (5 pm). Hey, I did a bunch of that stuff! Now I go home.

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Posted in Random comments at 8:20 AM (Permalink) |

February 14, 2002

Clearing the desk (if only metaphorically)

Trying to get some odds and ends cleaned up this morning before class -- a few things to grade, make sure I have everything ready for class, and so forth. The first rush of the semester is over, so I have a bit of a breather teaching-wise. The first month, students write a paper a week. While the grading is low-stakes (pass/fail, just a few points), I try to respond carefully to everything. Now the group activities start, but that's a routine at this point I know well from prior semesters (though that's certainly not the perspective of the students). The collection of materials for the pre-approved perspective paper topics is now finished, and I wait for their drafts at the beginning of March.

So now I focus on other activities, like the Social Science History Association meeting, for which I'm a network representative and research (and maybe writing). And being the parent who is home when the kids get off the bus.

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Posted in Random comments at 9:25 AM (Permalink) |

February 13, 2002

I think I'll be trying—gasp!—Blackboard's

I think I'll be trying—gasp!—Blackboard's chat facility over the next week with my undergraduates. It's java-based and so incredibly clunky, but I'm not sure how else to do this. Requiring students to sign in to the web portal will also be clunky, so we'll see how it goes.

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Posted in Teaching at 8:56 PM (Permalink) |

I'm slowly catching up, I

I'm slowly catching up, I think, and trying to balance various things. Right now, I'm working my way through the last of a batch of student papers.

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Posted in Random comments at 5:06 PM (Permalink) |