Saturday, May 19, 2012

On the edge of work

I'm creeping ever closer to being back at work. Dear Boy will soon be six months old and I'll have to hand him over to a child care worker I've only met briefly, then go and spend the day concentrating on students, admin, writing a lecture, admin, and reading.

I admit, it'll be nice to have some brain space back, to think about grown-up things, have an adult conversation and uninterrupted time to have my lunch. I'm worried I'll still narrate my day out loud, with my colleagues poking their head around my door to wonder what I'm talking about or who I'm talking to. It's a habit I've grown into so the house isn't filled with silence, so Dear Boy learns how to hold a conversation.

At the moment, I'm doing all the unpaid prep-work that goes with getting a class up and running: figuring out the reading lists; working out the homework and exercises and writing them into the unit guide; getting the reader off to the printer and ordering enough textbooks for all the students; getting ahead on my own reading and lecture writing. I'm also thinking about 'inclusiveness' and how to 'include' students from cultural backgrounds so different from our own - where university learning is about sitting down and shutting up and never, EVER questioning what you're told. How can I get these students to talk, to answer, to question, to criticise, to think?

I'm mainly concerned that the class will fall apart at the seams because of some detail I've forgotten. When prep-work is done in the brief snatches of time while the baby sleeps, I'm sure something might be getting overlooked.

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