Monday, September 8, 2014

The Mondays

Last year, the best thing about the Sunday-to-Thursday work week was that the weekend seemed to show up sooner than you expected. This year, I realize that I get to experience the Mondays not once per week, but twice!

In the two weeks that seem to have passed since last we communed in the digital plane, school has started. We are now in full swing, almost halfway through the second full week, and I can't deny that I'm feeling the difference between Teaching Fellow life and Real Teacher life.

Before more details, here's the hastily composed mirror selfie that became the Shot Heard Round Facebook:

Way more popular than I expected. Anyway.

My new teacher life, basically:

- Four classes: two of philosophy, one of world religions, and the Big History monster (amounting to 16 periods of teaching per week)

- The triumphant return of the Glee Club (with more singers than ever, which is thrilling, and a gigantic performance coming up in October, which is I guess a little terrifying)

- Dorm duty once a week (hooray!), but because it's with freshmen, we're starting off the year with something that amounts to supervised study hall. Don't be surprised if I send more updates from fluorescent prisons for the next couple months.

- Various and endless meetings related to: advisees (I have six of my own now; five juniors and a sophomore, each with his or her fair share of emotional or intellectual baggage for which I have quickly become an unloading point), professional development (which I signed up for, so I can't complain), and eventually Arabic (which hasn't even started. How do I make time for that one?)

- On the plus side, I don't have a co-curricular, which leaves my afternoons bafflingly open, especially when I'm feeling on top of my work. Today, for instance, I felt both so academically drained and so guilty for having a free afternoon while everyone else slaved away on the tennis courts/improv stage/debate halls that I did this: 

First-ever solo baking project in Jordan! Except I still owe Yasmine for the ingredients, which she bequeathed to us like three months ago. I'll get there.

So life is busy, which isn't that much of a surprise, but is still feeling like something to get used to. Big History has been a crazy mosh pit of excitement so far because we're trying to coordinate schedules across oceans and time zones, but the students are so thrilled about the class that I'm usually very excited just to walk in the door. World Religions feels a little strange because I'm (pretty intentionally) leaving the curriculum design in the hands of the new teaching fellow in the department, and since she's never taught before we're still ice-axing our way up the learning curve. Philosophy often feels like the old shoe I can just slip into, except when things go haywire (like they did this Sunday) and I feel like everything I know is slipping out from under me. Hopefully that doesn't happen too much more; it's not what I need on Mondays. Or Sundays. Or both.

There has been time for fun, of course, very little of which I have documented except the food. Are you surprised?

This one time we cooked dinner on a weekday! That doesn't happen often enough and should probably happen more. I helped with the eggplant at Meg's; Meredith was (as always) responsible for southern comfort. 

Once we watched a Studio Ghibli movie with a projector on a wall. "The Cat Returns." Familiarly weird and totally fun.

Last weekend, the return to Beit Sitti! Made some different dishes, had the same amount of fun, and there were about 40 people there (30 of them from King's) which made for a uniquely raucous good time.

Nothing on tap yet for this weekend, which I can't say I'm sorry about. I'm sure things will come up, and until then I watch it from my faraway Monday outpost. Tuesday's my big day, with all 4 classes and Glee Club, so I think the thing I'm the most excited for is the big ol' sleep I'm planning to get starting around 10:00. Guess I should feel lucky I can get to bed that early. 

More news from the front to come!! Life has felt pretty normal so far; I apologize for not having quite the same I'm-in-Jordan joie de vivre that probably characterized my posts at this time last year. I'm having fun, don't worry, but I'm also definitely working, and I'm glad to report that so far that's not a bad thing.

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