Thoughts at the end… (part 4 and the last one, at least for this particular end)

This afternoon, I wrapped up the grading for my last class of the term, Writing Research, Theory and Practice. I have to say was one the best teaching experiences I’ve had in a long long time. This is the graduate course our MA students take toward the end of their program of study as they are preparing to work on their MA project or thesis.

For reasons that are too complicated to explain, I only had five students. Usually, I don’t like classes that are this small, but this was a great group. I thought the way I put this class together worked out too, and I’ll probably do something similar when (or if, I suppose) I teach this course again in a year or so. But to be honest, what really made the difference is we met at Bombadill’s, which is a cafe/coffee shop in downtown Ypsilanti. It’s a great place, and meeting there beat the hell out of meeting in Pray-Harrold, which is one of the worst academic buildings on the planet.

Anyway, I won’t be blaring Alice Cooper out the window anytime soon because I start teaching in spring term (which is what they call the first half of summer school around here) on Monday, May 2. I don’t know who planned this schedule, but I really think that everyone needs more than one week between terms. But I digress.

But it is still the end of the year– the school year, that is– nonetheless. Here’s a brief reflection on it:

  • Things got off to a rocky start in late August with “fun” with the EMU-AAUP, for which I was once the web site manager, and a faculty strike that lasted about 7 hours. Incidentally, the union’s web site hasn’t been updated since January.
  • This election thing back in November that didn’t turn out quite the way I’d hoped.
  • I went to MLA, and really REALLY enjoyed the eating in Philly.
  • I tried and failed to use WebCT (we’ll see about eCollege, the software I’ll be working with to teach an online class in the Fall).
  • I really thought I was going to end up moving away from EMU, but I’m glad to say that my wife and I are staying.
  • I had a great time at the CCCCs in San Francisco, though I didn’t eat as well as I did in Philadelphia.
  • Realizing that I will likely be here for the next 30 or so years, I decided to move books into my office at EMU. I had some books before, but I had a lot more toys and miscellaneous hunks of junk. I’m hoping to post a new photo of my school digs soon.

This summer promises to be busy with teaching and a big push on finally wrapping up a long-standing textbook project (keep various things crossed). But in the short-term, I think I’m going to try to plow through The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy before the movie opening on Friday.

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