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Bad Bloggatrix

4 February, 2006

History Carnival XXIV

History Carnival XXIV is up at The Elfin Ethicist. It’s very interesting, and chock full of historical goodness.

Bad Bloggatrix

I know I’ve been a bad blogger lately. I’ve been trying to juggle writing more job applications, including the one for the position I’m in this year, which is going TT. It’s due next week. Frankly, after putting in 27 applications and getting 3 interviews (one of which seems to have gone nowhere), I’m just really burnt. And I’m also so petrified I won’t be employed next year that I’m having a hard time connecting. Funny — just as I’m starting to be a productive academic again (in a small way), just as I’m starting to kind of get my life back together, and I’m looking at a big black hole of maybe having to survive on adjunct pay — if I’m lucky! It’s not irony, in the classic sense. I don’t think its punishment for hubris, either, but who knows? The gods like to screw with people. Is there a proper name for this?

I gave a midterm last week. Most people showed up. Some didn’t, which I find worrisome. A couple of the people who didn’t show dropped, but most didn’t. Then, in my Early Modern section of the survey, only 6 people out of 25 showed the next day. and only 10 the day after (normal attendance is 14-18). My early survey is always close to full attendance — maybe 3 people absent on a given day. My night class is almost always complete. Moreover, several of the people who showed up to take the in-class part of the test (60%) didn’t do the take-home. Not that they didn’t know about it — they just didn’t do it. I give out the exam a week ahead of time. They have a week to write a 750-1000 word essay and study 4 other essay questions, from which I will pick the in-class essay. And they just didn’t do it. I know that I’ve talked about How to do College before, but I sometimes forget that my students really aren’t us. I understand how to teach the things to catch them up — how to write, how to approach college work, etc. The problem is, I can’t seem to get them to believe me that I don’t expect them to have all the answers right now — but if they do enough work to get down a fair chunk of the information, enough that they can ask the questions, I can help them with the answers. But to add to a recent post on the subject, “I am not here to do your work for you.”

Still, how do I get them to believe me that, if they do the work, that’s more than half the battle, that, even if they don’t get it at the time, they have to do the initial reading, or prep or whatever, in order for me to do my job well — something that will give us all pleasure and which will result in their work bearing fruit?

Oh well, I have a review to finish polishing and send off, 75 exams to mark, a syllabus to revise to make up for the time I’ll be at my campus interview, two interviews to prep for, and a paper to write. Off to work.

Oh — BTW, I have to teach a class at the SLAC I am visiting. The class is Europe, and Early Modern (the part generally referred two by two three-letter abbreviations). I don’t have to teach this subject — I can do something in my own field. But I’m fairly sure one of the reasons I got the interview is that I can do all of Europe, plus have the desired grad field and some teaching experience in Johnathan Dresner’s field. So I am going to talk about a particular religious order founded by a Spaniard, that reports via a military-like hierarchy to the Pope, and their work in Johnathan Dresner’s part of the world. If anyone has references I could use or documents/images I might want to include, I’d love to hear from you. ANd sorry to be so cryptic — I just would like to not be too google-able! Thanks!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. 4 February, 2006 10:33 pm

    I don’t have any good references for your religious-order-also-known-for-its-emphasis-on-education, but I really like your unGoogleable descriptions. 🙂 Good luck with the SLAC visit!

  2. 4 February, 2006 11:00 pm

    I emailed you some sites about M—– R—- which might be of interest.

  3. 4 February, 2006 11:06 pm


  4. 5 February, 2006 7:05 pm

    I’m too spacey to have meaningful comments, except to sympathize about job anxiety, students, &c. &c. Nor am I any use on your topic (except to provide personal postmodern anecdotes from hanging around said order), but the plan for the talk topic sounds good and I can’t wait to hear about how it goes!

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