Tag: school

Going to Boston and Teaching News

I have been accepted to present at the Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference on Consciousness at Boston University at the end of April! Looks like I can get travel funding from the department, so it might actually work out. I filed that paperwork and hopefully should hear soon about that.

I have never been to Boston, and chances are I will mainly just see the inside of a lecture hall for 2 days. But still it will be fun!

Not sure if I mentioned this yet, but on the teaching front, MSU asked me to teach Medical Ethics this summer. IT will be the first half of the summer  semester (mid-May to end of June), but the assistantship is for the whole summer. Might be able to squeak out making it on that and not get real job for the summer, but we’ll see. Gotta run some numbers still.

Also, next Fall, Alma is unofficially interested in me teaching 2 classes, which would be great. Plus, it will be Business Ethics again, and Medical Ethics. So both classes will be ones I have already taught which will help IMMENSELY in effort. Every single class session, I walk away with plenty of ideas of how to make it better, but just getting the initial foundation takes up all the time I spare. It seems clear to me, and talking to other professors supports this, but the first time teaching a course is by far the biggest time involvement. I imagine it was similar for my mom whenever they introduced new units into her class.

However, it’s “unofficial” for now because the provost doesn’t make staffing decisions until late May or early June. Plus, they need a minimum enrollment in order to offer the course. Hopefully neither should be a problem, but I won’t know officially until June. Although, for now the department chair has said he would like me back and is scheduling the courses according to my schedule. Plus the current provost is a professor I worked with in the cognitive science program during my undergrad. (And said he recognized me when I ran into him.) So it’s looking good.

Just in case, I let MSU know that I am interested in assisting there again. I do certainly prefer my own classroom in Alma. It is amazing how much more I learn about teaching that way, and it is far more rewarding than being a grader for someone else’s class.

Day in the Life of a Professor/Student/Father/Husband/Son

So it’s been over a month since I posted. I have had stuff I thought to post, but never quite got around to it. To help show why, here’s a run down of yesterday. It was a bit busier, but not too far from a typical day. Also, don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a complaint. Even if it feels like a semester long marathon, it still beats sitting in an office in a career I really don’t like.

  • Midnight – still up reading articles out of my business ethics textbooks finalizing what to lecture on
  • 1:30am – unwind by reading a couple chapters in a fun novel to help settle before bed
  • 2:00 am – sleep
  • 7:15 am – alarm goes off
  • 7:20 am – get out of bed, and start waking up kids. Samantha chastises me for not waking her up earlier. 😉
  • 7:30-8:20 am – help get kids ready for school, make lunches, and get them out the door more or less on time
  • 8:30 am – get clothes in the dryer so I have something to wear
  • 8:40 am – eat breakfast, check email, play a silly Facebook game
  • 9:00 am – continue business ethics reading
  • 11:00 am – little more silly Facebook game, shower
  • 11:30 am – wash a couple pots and pans, get some lunch, download Jane Austen’s Emma on audiobook to listen to on the drive (although I like Jane Austen, it’s not my top pick for driving, but I need to read it for one of my classes)
  • noon – drop off confidentiality form with my advisor for a ethics debriefing at a local hospital this evening, chat for a few minutes
  • 12:10 pm – start heading to the highway to drive up to Alma
  • 12:20 pm – realize I forgot all my books, turn around
  • 12:30 pm – get my books, make a couple Law & Order jokes since Diana is watching Svu (pronounced svoo)
  • 12:40 pm – drive to Alma, remember that I haven’t talked to my family in weeks and decide I really need to call them soon
  • 1:40 pm – get to office hours a little late, but no one shows anyway, which is alright since I still need to type my PowerPoint presentation (Keynote on iPad actually, simple but very effective)
  • 2:30 pm – Business Ethics. Talk about Relativism, discuss some international business issues.
  • 3:30 pm – end class a little early since discussion was winding down and I need to get back to Lansing for the Ethics Debrief (ended a little earlier than I wanted to, which I don’t like, but I’ll try to pack Thursday’s class more to make up for it, and I really don’t want to be late.)
  • 4:40 pm – Get down to the hospital, start looking around for the 8S conference room. When I ask at the Information desk, they reply “Uh… I guess that is 8th floor in the South Wing, I suppose.” and points me to the proper elevators. I’m not reassured.
  • 4:55 pm – After being unsure of just walking onto one of the hospital floors among the patient rooms I ask where this conference room is and find out I’m standing 5 feet from it. (It is labeled “The Conference Room” on a whiteboard that is half erased.)
  • 5:10 pm – The nurses  arrive and my advisor leads an interesting ethics debrief about pain management stemming from an issue they had recently with a patient. Ends with coming up with some recommendations that my advisor will pass along to their Ethics Board and the nursing supervisor will start pushing with her superiors.
  • 6:20 pm – Get home. Check on Diana (who is feeling sick and is lying in bed).
  • 6:30 pm – Heat up some leftovers for myself and a make a quesadilla for Samantha (her favorite make-it-real-quick meal)
  • 6:50 pm – Take Samantha and her friend to girl scouts. Break the news to the other troop co-leader that Diana is sick in bed. Find out no other parents look like they are staying, so I might need to skip class to help out (which I’m not sure I mind since I haven’t finished the reading for tonight anyway)
  • 7:00 pm – Another mom shows up and plans on staying, so I am told to go to class.
  • 7:15 pm – Get to class right behind my professor who is thankfully running late (he let us know earlier, so I knew I had some extra time tonight)
  • 8:55 pm – Have a break and call home to see how everyone is feeling and make sure Samantha got home from girl scouts ok, see an email from my Dad and feel bad that I still haven’t called them for weeks
  • 10:00 pm – Get out of class and head home
  • 10:30 pm – Get settled in and decide to read for fun and leave school reading for tomorrow
  • Midnight – After reading the same page 5 times and still having no idea what it says, decide to get to bed early.

Tuesdays and Thursdays are my long days since I have both Alma teaching and seminars at night, but Mondays and Wednesdays are usually pretty full with reading as well. It was also a bit busier because Diana was sick.

She had a long night last night since she was up until 2am working on Owen’s costume for “dress like your favorite book character” day, and then slept on the couch* until 5am when Ella came downstairs and started puking. So she hasn’t had it easy either.

Ah the joys of trying to balance all the roles in life. Still haven’t balanced it out very well, but we’re managing. And I really will call my family soon.

* Note: Diana was just sleeping on the couch to not wake me up coming to bed. But I was sleeping so deep, I didn’t even know she wasn’t there.

The past 24 hours

Here is a random selection of my thoughts from the past 24 hours:

  • I only have 1 day of work left – Yay!!
  • Wow, I have a lot of stuff in my office drawers.
  • Studying for my logic test (need to pass it or take a class for my degree) – logic was trivially easy when I first learned it, so it shouldn’t be too bad to pick up again.
Kentucky Fried Motherboard
Kentucky Fried Motherboard - Can you guess which motherboard is the one with problems?
  • I think I found the problem with the home PC. Guess it wasn’t just the power supply. Thankfully, I have a spare PC of the same model that happens to be out of warranty and will be scrap in a day.
  • Ok, when logic was trivially easy, that was 15 years ago, and I spent several hours a week for four months learning it. Relearning it in only 2 weeks isn’t as easy.
  • I am definitely a full student now. Studying for my logic certification test until 4am. Yawn.
  • Kids who lose their teeth need doors that aren’t squeaky.
  • Time to train someone on this scheduling app – oh good, it won’t install.
  • You know, leaving this job is a lot like selling your home. I spent the past few weeks fixing all of the bugs in systems that I just put up with for years so that the next person won’t have to deal with them.
  • Geez, it’s my last day of work! Holy panic, Batman, what have I done?! We’re going to be on the streets by summer and I don’t have a radio voice to save us!
  • Time for the logic test and… crappit! Of course, I didn’t study that! There exists a person who understands this question. That person is not me.
  • Well, that test was just ugly enough that I have no clue if I passed or failed.
  • Final documenting everything I know at work. Turn in my keys and close the office. Gulp.
  • No time to worry, got to write up a syllabus this weekend and plan out my entire course – plus tonight we have five 11 year old girls over for Samantha’s birthday sleepover.
  • Deep breaths and Beethoven’s 9th for the walk home. That’s better.

Big Change for 2011

Yikes. I did it. This morning I put in my notice for quitting work in January, and I let the Philosophy department know I accepted the instructorship. (They needed to know this week on the instructorship, and I had my performance review this morning at work, so it seemed best to get the decision done so everyone can plan accordingly.)

So, as of early January, for the first time in 13 years I will not be a full-time employee. Scary.

Continue reading “Big Change for 2011”