Note from the Lecturn

A couple things of note:

  • One of my students dropped off in my office a hand made dish towel, a bag of homemade cookies, a Christmas CD and a handwritten letter thanking me for taking the time to help her in the class and help her figure out what she wants to do with her life. It was very sweet. For anyone who teaches you know how special things like that are from the students. I’ve been grinning all afternoon.
  • I had a long talk this afternoon with the current chair of the department. We talked about the responsibilities, the duties, and whether he thought I would do a good job at it. He said that if I did choose to do the position that he would be a mentor for me for as long as I wanted. Letting me know what things needed to be done, when they were due, and helping me with tasks when I get overworked. Knowing that he would be there helps a lot. I also realized there was a huge lack of delegation of tasks that was going on in the department. One person doing everything is insane and a lot of work, ten people doing ten jobs can help ease the burden on the one person and add very little more work to their burden.
  • I’m meeting with the Dean of the college tomorrow to ask about what support they will give me. Reduced teaching load, monetary support, ect. I hate to say it but my bottom line is really money. I would need to have someone cover my labs, since they’re the biggest time sink, and have additional salary support (I’d say $5,000/yr at least). Unfortunately I won’t have a reduced teaching load too much because the department isn’t big enough to have enough faculty members to cover everything. We have one semi-part time faculty member who is finishing up his Ph.D. – when he finishes that it will be much, much easier since he can teach a year of upper division chemistry classes.
  • I’m so glad that the semester is nearing an end. Finals week is rough for everyone – including the professors! I’ve had a stress ulcer in my mouth for the past 5 days that has just made it nearly unbearable to eat and even sleep.  I’ll be happy for a few weeks off in December to regroup, prep for next semester, and get excited again. A clean slate is always nice. =)

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