Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Rampant paranoia, check. Throbbing headache, check...

It's been a rather intense couple of weeks at work. I'm feeling decidedly anxious about my re-appointment dossier; I'm sure I will get reappointed, I do a good job *halo* but it's still nerve-wracking having your work and writing being discussed at a meeting of your peers, and pored over by a committee.

So, I have all that on my mind. As well, I've had some teaching to do this week, and I've been less than enthusiastic about it. I've had a lot on my mind, and my always present anxiety about, you know, talking to people and having them look at me, grows exponentially when I have other worries crowding each other for space. I've been madly lesson planning in preparation. Class number one I had this afternoon, English Composition. The instructor asked her students to choose an issue out of Michael Moore's work and write a position paper on it, citing at least two scholarly journal articles. Well, I get an email from her this morning, panic-stricken that all copies of Michael Moore's books are already checked out of the library. Wouldn't you think that based on the assignment, his books were either on course reserve or otherwise used as texts in the class? I mean, there are lots of students in the class. *Sighs* I spent the majority of the class reassuring upset students that they could find the books in other ways, and showing them how to use the public library catalog.

I'm a nurturer, so I can handle this. Well, get a load of class number two, also an English Composition, scheduled for tomorrow. The instructor actually sent me a full copy of the assignment and the course syllabus, which I greatly appreciated. I took a look at it for the first time today. At first, I thought maybe the stress was getting to me, rendering me daft. I flipped through the documents about a half dozen times without being able to report a single concrete item that I'd gleaned. After further study, I realized that the reason for this might be that the syllabus alone was approximately 15 pages long, and contained an absolute ton of confusing, nit-picky details about assignments. At one point, I kid you not, the syllabus contained a discussion of the proper way to turn in assignments, which included creation of a cover letter *on letterhead* addressing the writing process for that particular essay, multiple drafts and peer reviews, placement of all essay materials in a folder, with pockets, and exactly how to arrange the items in each pocket. My head hurt after reading it. Pockets? I ask you. I've never been so bewildered over a syllabus in my life. It took me twenty minutes to ascertain which assignment I was being asked to address, when it was due, and what it entailed.

I need to go home now, and drink wine. I have a box of Franzia Crisp White chilled in my refrigerator, and I assure you it will help me. I may need a flask for this class tomorrow.

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