Sunday, February 17, 2013
Sunday Morning Comin' Down
Others are asking me what's up with Star, and why he's acting so strangely. This, oddly, is very comforting, as I thought I was just being hypersensitive. Turns out he's being weird to everybody about all kinds of stuff. Ex: Ms.M has been working with Stu on his first-ever conference paper - for months. With no compensation other than professional and personal satisfaction. So, with the conference in mid April, Ms M asked Stu for a copy of the current iteration - and was told that Star, quite out of the blue, had already critiqued the paper, made many suggestions and basically told Stu he wasn't ready and needed to read another dozen or so articles. Now... this is just odd. Stu's never had Star for a class. Stu is a work study for us, but that's the only contact Star's ever had with Stu. And Star, to watch him, is so over-committed and OCD that he doesn't really have the time or energy to take on Stu. And yet... out of the blue, without a comment to Ms.M - who has put in a lot of time and effort with Stu, jumps in and ... that's just weird. And, yes, OCD and more than a bit micro-managing. The Dean is also, apparently (and this according to Star), becoming disenchanted with Star. That would be a major shift. But as far as I know and can tell, Star has yet to submit a formal notice of leaving. Which is holding up the paperwork on the VAP spot. And hire. Annoying.
I bit the bullet and forced the students in all classes to re-engage with their own non-progress in their classes. I really really really wanted their plans to work. For that, they needed to take control of their own learning and classes - and they simply haven't. So we tweaked all the classes. Redirected them. Well, 2 of the 3 - the third has been going okay if not wonderfully, but we all think that the changes there will work. The other two were just painfully bad, and required more significant change. It's these kinds of changes that make assessment so difficult - I have no control group. If I use one group as a control, and keep everything going on Plan B, those students are penalized. And as I change every class every term, a long-term control Plan isn't there either. Ms.M tells me I have a whole clan of groupies that love me and my classes - but I don't see that. What I see are dozens of individuals and groups that are eager and capable of learning, and I'm trying to find the best way to get them what they want/need to do just that. So I'm having some qualms about fairness and accountability.
Have done zip on the Big Paper this past week. Not good. It's at ~13 pages, needs to be at least 25. By the first of the month. And a conclusion would be good...
Options for a sunny Sunday:
play with glass - cooking and/or stained
go to campus and clean office, which is pretty chaotic. Order there would be welcome.
Required for a sunny Sunday:
get tax stuff together for accountant
clean fish tank and bird cage
Think I'll start with the campus office...