As I type this, I am sitting at a table on my in-law’s lanai (basically a screened-in porch) in southern Florida, watching my son burbling about in the pool while I simultaneously get some prep work done for next term’s teaching and enjoy weather a heck of a lot better than in Ypsi.
Anyway, one of my now former colleagues asked me in a recent email how things went for my first semester as the Interim WPA. So I thought I’d give a somewhat belated reflection on it. All things considered, I think I’d have to say things went pretty well. For starters, the program still exists, and given the fact that I see my primary role this year as “program sitter” while Linda AK is on sabbatical, I think that’s pretty good.
I was really pleased with the great group of graduate students I had the chance to work with this semester in the practicum class for first-time teachers. They all did outstandingly well, which made my job rather easy. All the returning GAs did well too, as did our large staff of lecturers and part-timers who teach in our first year writing program. I was fortunate enough to have an outstanding assistant/”visiting scientist” -type in Jennifer Castillo and in grad student Amy McBain who helped organize the annual Celebration of Student Writing. Oh yeah, and Linda AK, who was basically on speed-dial at all times.
I didn’t really do anything too new (well, other than make the CSW Movie, which turned out pretty well), but I think I did manage to get everything done we were supposed to get done. I think. I guess I’ll find that out later though.
So really, nothing terribly bad happened, and when you think about the scale of things, that’s fairly remarkable. I mean, we’ve got about 1800 students spread over 70 or so sections in the program, and, as anyone who has had this sort of job knows, it only takes one or two, um, “problems,” to put a real damper on all of the other good things that go one.
One semester down, one to go. Here’s hoping it is as smooth (or smoother).