Friday, September 28, 2007

Okay, I give

Reading other blogs over the past couple years, I kept wondering at the laments of my friends who were teaching, about how wearing grading could be. I simply didn't remember it being so exhausting from my time teaching at the community college. No, it couldn't be that bad. They're just whining.

Okay, I give. It can be that bad. Well, exhausting in any case. One thing's good: I guess my first test wasn't too easy. ... I've got a good mix of grades so far... but I'm only about two-thirds way through the grading. One perfect score. But a couple failing grades as well. It is so time-consuming. And I've got a stack of essays from my Wednesday night class as well. Their first test is next week. I'm doing my best to get Thursdays tests returned on Tuesday, and Wednesdays essays back on Wednesday. It won't get any easier, so I might as well not fall behind now.

On another count, I fly to Oakland next Saturday for a meeting with a couple programmers I'm looking to hire on for a project. They were recommended to me by contact Matt Suliman. He's a good contact for me (I hope he'll turn into a friend), because he has a similar background in academia and research, he's a visionary, driven by a passion to "make a better mousetrap" as he puts it, and also engaged with the practical issues of running a start-up and trying to keep the intermediate steps as commercially viable as possible. In other words, he's a model for the type of thing I'm doing, only he's been doing it for about 5 years now.

In any case, I'm looking to hire some programmers to help me build the tools I need to put together my proofs-of-concept. I'm looking forward to the meeting, but I'm hoping to have a very clear description of what exactly I'm asking them to write. Having gotten my feet wet with programming myself, I think I've got a pretty good handle on how I should frame it. Alvin, the lead programmer, whom I spoke to on the phone, seems quite excited about the work. The trick will be negotiating a reasonable pay agreement. We shall see. Every dime comes out of our savings, so I don't want to blow the wad too quickly. But if this works out, I'll have the tools I need to send off or present some demos which might net me some contracts or clients.

Hope springs eternal.

1 comment:

Lilian said...

Yeah, grading sucks. I don't miss it one bit. Actually I can say I don't miss teaching because of it. When I was a TA for one specific professor ( two semesters with her) and led two discussion sections -- a total of 60 students -- they wrote 4 longer and 6 shorter papers, so at 10 papers per student, I graded 600 papers that semester. And got 2 incompletes out of 3 classes I was taking.

Just started catching up reading your blog and I've got quite a bit to read! :) I've been doing things in spurts since the move...