Faculty meeting, scanning, picking up a graduate exam to read, making copies, returning books, pulling books for reserves, such is the day ahead of me. I have turned in one syllabus, just minutes ago, though I can see that the other is going to get done over the weekend, and I have written 340 words.

I wish I didn’t always revise my syllabi. Given the number of times I have taught Chaucer, you’d think I could just re-use one of the dozen or so old ones. But no, I always have to tinker. This year, we’re starting with intensive language work, so the first three weeks need a lot of revision (and extra handouts and exercises, as well). After that the class will look a little more like past versions, but I’m still swapping a couple of Tales around, and the books are different, and I’m sure I’ll think of some other things to mess with while I’m at it this weekend.

Of course I wish I’d done this long ago. I did start thinking about it long ago. But I wrote 15,000 words of what is going to be a monograph this summer. I haven’t exactly been . . . no, actually, I have been, precisely, sitting on my ass. It’s just that I was applying ass to chair in order to produce those words, not to produce an undergraduate syllabus.

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3 thoughts on “And we’re off . . .

  1. I too am going to be writing/tinkering with syllabi and doing the Kinko's run to get them copied this weekend, but it's for the good reasons you said: spending time on writing.If I have 10 days to write a syllabus, it will take me 10 days.If I have 2 days, it will take me 2 days–and, since I've been thinking about them at the back of my mind, it'll still work well.

  2. I'm with you–I rewrite a course every time I teach it. Yeah, it's a lot more work. But honestly, *I* get more out of it if I'm having a different, and unpredictable, conversation every semester. I just get to keep learning. So it's completely selfish on my part.

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