Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Semesterly Nightmare

"Why, oh why, haven't you been diligently blogging of late?" comes the cry of my regular blog readers. Well, OK, no one has really asked, but my traffic is down by about 2/3 over the last couple of weeks, nearly perfectly coinciding with the sudden dearth of posts.

I'll tell you why.

Many (Most? All?) professors have the same nightmare at the beginning of each semester: We go into the classroom on the first day and are completely unprepared. We are in the wrong room, are teaching the wrong course, have no syllabus, have the wrong books, etc. We struggle to muddle through, but the class just gets worse and worse.

This semester, the nightmare is real. I'm going to meet my class tomorrow, only to tell them that the University is sending me to Korea for the next week (which is followed by MLK Jr. Day), so class is cancelled for the first week-and-a-half. As of this posting, my Blackboard shells still have not been created, so they may not be able to download the syllabus. Turnitin will be down for maintenance tomorrow. A printing error in the paper version of the class schedule means that ALL students who use that as a reference (rather than the electronic version) will be in the wrong classes. To top it all off, we just found out that a computer error prevented most textbook orders from going through, with the books being ordered for only about four of the seventy-or-so general studies English classes.

Tomorrow I'll go into classroom knowing that the students are in the wrong class, have no syllabus, have no books, and will not meet with me again until after the last day to drop. So, posting has been light as I've been working to mitigate the damage as much as possible.

I would say "pray for me," but most of these problems affect the whole department, so instead I ask you to pray for the entire English Department that we don't commit a ritual mass suicide, impaling ourselves on poison pens.


  1. Anonymous6:30 PM

    Sorry about all the troubles that the first week of class has brought you. Tis a shame that I took you last semester instead of this one. Ah well, hope you have a good time in Korea, but I guess that all depends on whether you go to South or North. Have a great day, and Paige sends her love!

  2. Anonymous10:20 PM

    Not to worry, Dr. Nokes. This is my chance to give you that class in Berube studies you've been asking for.