Thursday, September 8, 2011

What Have I Done?

So in less than a week, I’ll have 45 students – and counting – to take care of through BYU-Idaho.

Yes, I did agree to take on two online sections of FDENG 101 this semester. But watching the student count climb from two this time last week to 20 just a few minutes ago is bringing the reality crashing in.

I’ve got to remember a few things:

1) I’m building a possible new career here. Keep doing well teaching online at BYU-Idaho and they might consider me for further, full-time employment down the road. Once I have a doctorate or can chew crackers and whistle “Yankee Doodle” at the same time.
2) I’m helping students with my unique look at the craft of writing. Wow. I managed to type that with a straight face. Even sans-serif. A little nerd joke there.
3) Money, Mr. Burns, money. Just under $5,000 for teaching the two courses, which end Dec. 12. That money will make Christmas – and paying Michelle’s tuition for next semester – that much easier. I’ll have to pay taxes on it, though. That’ll cut into the refund.

I talked to my Coworker Ed who also teaches online courses at BYU-Idaho, and he too has two sections (of ENG 201) to teach. He doesn’t feel stressed out. But then again, he’s got the doctorate and the cracker/Yankee Doodle thing down pat.’

I have the bus ride on which I can grade papers, leaving only the data entry once I get home. Midterm conferences will likely not be pleasant with that many to get through, but then again I remind myself of the 25 students I had last semester, barely half participated in a conference, so what are my chances that all of my students this semester are going to be geeks who want to talk to the ubergeek?

A few goals: I’m going to be meaner. I’ll help my students enjoy the course, but I’m going to be meaner, especially at those midterm conferences and they’re falling behind.

No extra credit this semester, either. Those who did the extra credit offerings last semester were exactly the students who did not need the extra points. So it won’t happen this semester.

Also: I hope to get an iPad out of this, with the cash. But we’ve got that tuition. And a new computer to buy for Michelle. And this and that. So we’ll see. Plus, I think I’m going to get a generator or solar panels for the camper for Christmas anyway. Maybe I’ll turn the table and get them for Michelle for Christmas. That would be a treat.

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