I just got back from turning in my grades. Funny how comfortable we get with new things. When I first came here in 1998, the way you turned in grades was all on paper and in person. You filled in the little scantron bubbles, walked the grade sheet over in person to Records and Registration– do NOT give your grade sheets to someone else to turn in!– signed, double-checked, stamped, etc.
A few years ago, they went to an electronic system for turning in grades. Initially, there was much complaining of this new-fangled system (what if something gets lost? what if the computer is broken? how do I do this?), but that quickly died down since showing up and R&R in person is annoying and the online system is easy.
Well, with this weird 12 week class format I was working with this spring/summer, I had to turn in my grades on old-fashioned paper. It felt totally wrong to me, just not the same “ah-ha, now I’m done!” sort of feeling. I hadn’t been in the building that houses R&R in a couple of years so I had to hunt around a bit. I gave my sheet of paper to the person behind the counter tentatively, asking “is this alright?” Like I said, it’s funny how comfortable you get with new things sometimes.
In any event, that is (as they say in the film biz) a wrap. It’s time to get ready for the big trip: we leave this weekend for Europe, first to Florence, and then a town in Germany called Mittenwald. We’re visiting Mittenwald because we’ll be seeing my in-laws on that leg of the trip, and we’re visiting Florence because, uh, it’s really cool. Though actually, it will be quite hot, and, interestingly enough, quite cool in Mittenwald.
The day we get back here, the two week before school session of English 596 begins; fortunately, my very capable colleague Linda Adler-Kassner will be running that before she officially starts her sabbatical, so I won’t have to come in right from the airport and totally wacked-out jet-lagged.
I’m going to be bringing a little school reading with me, including some reading for my teaching in the fall, but mostly, I’m just taking a break. And speaking of a break, I’m going to be doing the same with the blog, too. It’s mostly forced because I’m not taking my computer with me to Europe and I’m uncertain about Internet access (and really, who wants to go to places like Tuscany and the Alps to blog and check their email?), but also because I just wanted to refresh a bit. If I do get online at all, I’m more likely to post over at my unofficial blog, but pictures and other cool stuff will have to wait until I get back.