Thursday, January 05, 2006

Starting a New Year

My break between semesters is just about over, and a new year is starting.

The Christmas break is always a bit hard for me. I teach at two schools. At one school, spring classes start the first week of January, at the other they start the second week of January. So I basically have two weeks of Christmas break before I start back to the first school.

Into that two weeks I try to cram as much enjoyment of my family as possible. Amelia is just about 7 months old now, and this was her first Christmas. She loved tasting all her packages and, with a little help, tearing the paper off of them. Once she had the paper off, she tasted the presents inside the package. ;-)

In those two weeks, I also have to prepare for the coming semester. For classes I've taught before, that means updating the syllabus with new dates, fixing any problems in the lecture notes I found the previous semester, and generally improving the class as much as I can. For classes I haven't taught before, that means coming up with a syllabus from scratch, and at least the first two weeks' worth of lecture notes to start.

This year I decided to take the two weeks with no classes at all to just relax and enjoy family. Then, when my first school started back, I also started preparing for the second school. Which means that this week I've been running around like crazy trying to get everything ready.

Luckily, the class I'm teaching for the first school is an entirely online class. This means I don't have to lecture, and have only online office hours that I have to do at a certain time each week. Otherwise, I can fit in responding to questions however works best for me.

Unluckily, I'd rather spend time with my daughter than doing any of this, so it's been a challenge for me to make time for the class preparations with Amelia around. Especially since I know that next week I start back to full-time face-to-face classes, with about a little over an hour's commute one way to get there.

I can't complain too much, though, since I have both a beautiful daughter and a job I love. Now, if only there were more days in the week!

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