Friday, August 31, 2007

One week down

It has been intolerably hot here. Good thing the air-conditioning in my car works. I've spent more time driving this week than I have in a long time.

The commute to Lemon (about 42 miles or so) ranges between 45 minutes and an hour and a half each way, depending on the time of day, and condition of the highways. This week I made four round-trips. I feel a tinge of guilt at driving the distance alone in my car, knowing that I am contributing to the congestion and the pollution. There are simply no viable public transport options. This is not what I'd like to do long-term, not if it can be helped.

I've spent most of this week attending to the details of teaching again. I've actually kept a reasonably relaxed attitude, expecting all the worst. So, when it's occurred, I haven't been too shocked. My card key still hasn't been programmed to give me access to my office. Well, actually it's someone else's office (my friend Sara Chaisano). From what I've been told, I have free access to it on Tuesdays, until 5:00. I guess I just hang out in the conference room or the library on Wednesdays and Thursdays!

I made a special request on Tuesday that they program the card key to allow access to my Wednesday night classroom at least, so I wouldn't have to teach in the hall, or get accommodation from the campus police to open the door for me. That was taken care of.

Little problem in the bookstore: the text for my evening class was canceled and replace with the text for another class, which was listed in the bookstore as missing. So, my students had another courses texts, and their students didn't have any. And for my Tu/Th class, the bookstore only ordered half as many copies as I have students. [SIGH] Par for the course, I guess. Water on a duck's back.

I've enjoyed being in a class again. Fairly large classes (especially without TA sections): 42 in one and 40 in the other. At the community college where I taught before, the sections were mostly 25-30. I'll have to mentally prepare for grading time!

I've been mostly distracted by all the details of getting settled in to the academic setting again. It is a treat to have put that "faculty" parking sticker on my car, and to have received my campus photo ID with "faculty" emblazoned across the top. These accoutrements seem real, even though other aspects of my status there seem otherwise.

The job season is now upon us in earnest too. I've decisions to make whether and which academic jobs I will apply for. Partly, Rocket and I need to clarify for ourselves what our requirements are. Do we wish to limit ourselves to living within four hours of her folks. (My mom, visiting this week, was describing her recent trip to the Provence region of France, to which Rocket said "Provence sounds nice... maybe we could move there.") So, clarification is in order.

One unresolved issue is whether I wish to build my business as a solitary activity, or whether I might not like an academic position as a home base. It's all very confusing. I like teaching. I love research. I feel at home in an academic setting. Yet, I'm bitter, terribly bitter, and disappointed that my PhD has left me little better off (if at all) than before I returned to school. I've become disillusioned of academia in ways. Put another way, just because someone has spent a lifetime in one town, doesn't mean it's really home.

1) Clarification of our requirements and expectations regarding where and how we will live.
2) Decisions regarding whether and which academic positions might fit with those requirements & expectations.

And, oh yeah, I've got to get back to my coding, and preparing proofs-of-concept. That's the task for today.

No comments: