Because I’ve been awfully busy with “life in general” and my textbook project in particular this summer, and also because I’m doing quite a number of new things in my teaching this fall, I am unusually ill-prepared for the upcoming term.
How ill-prepared, you ask? Here’s an embarassaing example:
I emailed my classes just the other day to tell them that while I didn’t have a syllabus and class schedule ready and available online, I could tell them what books they needed to order. Increasingly, I find that my students are doing what I consider to be the smart thing and buying their books online instead of dealing with the local textbook stores, which (IMO) are inefficient and over-priced.
I’m teaching two sections of a class I teach all the time here at EMU, “Writing, Style, and Technology:” one that is online (and that has represented its own preparation “challenges”) and one that I thought was on Tuesday nights. In fact, I was so certain I was teaching on Tuesday nights that I made all my plans around Tuesdays, I had told everyone I was teaching on Tuesdays, and, as I said in my email to my students in this section, “I’ll see you on Tuesday night in a couple weeks.” This wasn’t even a question in my mind.
One of my near-future students emailed me back and said something along the lines of “gee, I have this class down for Thursday nights; did they change the day of the class?” At first, I was going to email this student right back to correct this student. But I decided to double-check the class schedule online and what-do-ya-know, I was wrong. And had this student not emailed me, I wouldn’t have showed up to class for the first meeting and I would have arrived on Tuesday and said “gosh, where is everyone?”
Jeesh. Quite the bumpy start here….