lunadelcorvo: (Xmas Cocoa)
No, actually, it's going really well! In my classes, I turned in the 'Giant Research Prospectus from You-Know-Where (TM) and gave the accompanying presentation. Got my grades back, and perfect scores on both! Ah-boo-yah! Finished that class with 359 our of 395 possible points! I guess I can handle this COMM stuff after all! One more grade to get in my other class, but I have no real concerns there, either. Last class for that one meets at the professor's house, which should be very nice!

I am buried in papers to grade for my own classes though! Final total will be something like 40 8-10page research papers, and as many essay final exams. (Maybe I need to look into scantron exams after all.....) But I'll get through it, and overall, my classes are wrapping up really nicely! I've had a lot of students tell me they've enjoyed it, which is always a real bonus for an instructor!

Enough of that - off to grade, and then to turn in course proposals for Fall '13! Egad! Cheers!
lunadelcorvo: (Xmas-Joy of the Season)
One rather unexpected benefit of teaching at a small, private, and—most pertinent to my point—Catholic university is that, unlike my large, public, state uni, they are free to put Christmas stuff absolutely everywhere! And I love it!

I'm really all for the whole separation of church and state, and I support 100% atheists and people of other faiths in their efforts to prevent Christian messages from being subsidized by government money, or presented with the weight of government behind them (After all, a manger on the court house lawn says nothing encouraging about justice for the non-Christian). I think "Happy Holidays" is a perfectly appropriate greeting, and I think the "War on Christmas" is hyperbolic, histrionic horse-$hit! However, I have always decorated with gusto for the holidays, and still do.

Though a child of wholly atheist parents, I grew up with the most Christmas-loving family you could ask for. Lights, tree, cookies and goodies; the works. I learned all the carols, secular and religious. Heck, my grandmother's two favorite carols were "O Holy Night" and "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear," and she was the most aggressively non-religious woman I've ever known. We even had the three wisemen on our credenza, and a manger scene (hand-painted by my mom and grandma [oh how I wish I had that now!]) under our tree. And I never thought anything of it; it was no different than pumpkins on halloween, or bunnies on Easter. In fact, I was actually floored when my husband said our neighbors would assume we're Christian because of the lights on the porch! It's not like I have a manger on my lawn (as we do three houses down) - it's just lights and candy canes!

So I find myself, atheist as I am, very happy to be surrounded by lights and trees and holiday frou-frou at my uni. I can count no less than five lit and decorated (indoor) trees I see on my daily rounds of teaching and attending classes.
Granted, I might not be so tickled by this had my small, private, Catholic university ever prevented me from teaching as I saw fit. But my first classes were on the history of Christianity, whereupon I more or less threw the church (specifically Catholic pre-reformation, and in general terms thereafter) under a large, ideological bus. And, characteristically of academia, I know several of the faculty, from adjuncts to higher ups, who are also atheists, and have never had any difficulty for it. So I have to give them large kudos for that. And I get the happy benefit - an open teaching environment, and shiny holiday lights!



Things I need to remember:
• Asking for help is not, as it turns out, fatal.
• Laughing is easier than pulling your hair out, and doesn't have the unfortunate side effect of making you look like a plague victim.
• Even the biggest tasks can be defeated if taken a bit at a time.
• I can write a paper the night before it's due, but the results are not all they could be.
• Be thorough, but focused.
• Trust yourself.
• Honesty, always.

Historians are the Cassandras of the Humanities



RSS Atom