First Week of the University

Well the title of this post is a misnomer. Last week was ‘registration week, where all staff is supposed to show up, but now that students are able to register via the Internet, they don’t need to. However, I was there, after carting a suitcase on wheels with CDs for students, books for academic purposes and many for give-aways, self-esteem posters I printed in color and then laminated to cover some bare spots on the walls, and my school laptop. I found plenty to do to keep me busy and three of my thesis advisees came in for advice, filling the empty moments.

As of Thursday, the computer room, which I had secured a grant to create, was still a room with tables and chairs, but not computers. I was dreading what I would find today, but there was a pleasant shock when I unlocked the door and found ten Dell computers with ten IBM monitors set up and ready to go. This was the typical ‘we will keep you guessing whether or not the work will be done on time’, last minute Hungarian planning. Six of the computers were supposed to be hooked up to the Internet and though they had the cables, the Internet was not working. Minor problem.

The greater problem now is that the entire minor program that I developed for the BA students that was supposedly approved, was not coded properly. Ten of them managed to get in, but 35 MA students were at the door wanting to join the Intro to Journalism course. Keeping them out was like stopping a stampede of gerbils. This problem seems to be in the resolution stage, but may not be resolved before the students are dropped and then have to register yet again.

There is always something to bring out the black cloud regardless how much preparing one does.

However, I do learn from each semester. Today, I used the laptop and projector. Projecting the syllabus on the wall, we could review it together. Student copies are on their CD rom. Three of my classes will be responsible for blogging, but each class will blog for different reasons. With the computer and projector going, I was able to display the journalism blog, explain what they were to do, and show them the goodies I have added to the sidebar. Besides academic sources, I included an online game, and a fortune telling cookie add-on. The thinking is that these may entice them to return to the blog other than when they are required to be writing on it. An experient for this semester.

Today was also the beginning of my new tutor and advising program. I have three tutors who will have two students each. The tutors are tops in their writing abilities and I created MLA booklets for each of them. They met their charges today and I will supervise them in the Writing Center. I am charged, hoping this is a success story. Live and learn, teach and learn.