Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Summer Plans and Goals

Today begins my first day of summer vacation. Ironically, I am going to the office today to give a student a makeup exam, but really I will just be cleaning out my office and getting my papers in order. I coordinate the administration of the writing assessment, and at the end of every term I get to throw away the essays that are a year old. I also was able to donate several old textbooks to a Liberian student who plans to ship them to his home country. (We have parasitical textbook buyers who prowl our halls asking if we have any books to sell back, but I always feel that's wrong to do since I am usually given those books by textbook publishers.) So I should be able to clean out a year's worth of academic detritus from my office today.

I am also teaching in July. However, it is our developmental writing course, which runs for 8 2.5-hour classes on Monday and Wednesday afternoons. A quick look at my roster shows 18 students, none of whom I know (many former students tend to seek me out, but not this term). I do see quite a number of international students, which means I need to brush up on my ESL teaching strategies.

Today also brings the first day of my husband's workplace's summer hours. He works 8 to 4 in the summer, which means he is home between 4:30 and 5 most days, either because he bikes or dawdles. :) (It's really a 15 minute drive door to door.) But summer vacation also means that I take on the primary childcare duties, getting the kids to school or camp and, usually, picking them up. I also do the doctor's appointments and dentist appointments and anything else that comes up.

This is the part I hate, especially regarding my son. Recently, I turned over all allergy management to my husband for a few reasons. First, he tends to administer nebulizer treatments for asthma during their bedtime routine. Second, he also has allergies/respiratory issues, so it's something he understands better than I do. If I have the sniffles for more than a day, I'm a wreck. K and E deal with sniffles constantly in their lives. But also, my husband was asking me questions all the time, questions I couldn't answer, and he kept questioning the treatment options. Finally I said YOU GO, THEN. So even though he has to take time off work, he does it, and we're all happier.

My big project for the summer is to increase my measures of social cohesion (I've been reading this. I've lived here in CorruptSmallTown for 6 years. I know a bunch of people, but I don't really have a strong sense of community yet. I'm going to increase my volunteering this summer, not only to give back to the community, but to try to build some ties with people who care about the same things I do. I'll be volunteering in CorruptEasternCity as well. Maybe this will be the year I make a few new friends. I like my current friends, but I seem to need more.

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