Friday, August 15, 2008

10 Minutes in the Life...

The first day of classes! Well, sort of. Two of the online classes I'm teaching start today. Another one starts Monday, and then two 10-week accelerated courses start on September 2nd. But that's entirely beside the point: It's the first day of school!

Today begins my sixth year of teaching. SO HARD TO BELIEVE! I still get girgly and excited every semester to have a new group of students, and this semester is particularly unique since all of my courses are online. It's extremely strange knowing that I'll never meet face to face with these folks; it's not just because they don't have to come see me, they can't come see me. Texas and North Carolina are a wee tad far apart for an appointment! Weird. Supremely weird.

Since today is day one, it's a lot of cat herding. The e-mails look a little something like this:

Distance Ed. Director: "Did you get So-and-So Smith's orientation packet?"

Me: Nope! Closest thing to So-and-So A. Smith was So-and-So J. Smith."

Distance Ed. Director: "Okay, here's the correct one."

Me: But which course is So-and-So A. Smith in?

Distance Ed. Director: "43"

Unknown Third Party: "Oh, Ms. Miller, by the way, we messed up so you have lots of e-mails you were supposed to get yesterday coming your way."


And the beat goes on. None of these people really exist. They're all floating around out there in the ether.

Since a tasty IHOP breakfast with Susan this morning, I've been sitting at the kitchen table looking out at the rain (in Texas, in August!), hitting "refresh" on my e-mail, and sporadically reading The Solitary Vice. It looks like it might stick, although I have a few qualms with the book. All-in-all, a good day! It's exciting to be back to work, and it's nice to be working in my pajamas--even if my ass is asleep.

Next week: the grad school madness begins.


  1. Good luck with all the schooling!

    Watched the Olympics last night and the women's gold medalist lives in Plano -- isn't that near you? She's awesome.

  2. Good lord! THAT'S the way to be a teacher!

  3. Best of luck with the new method of teaching. I hope you enjoy the heck out of this year!

  4. Oh those e-mails - it's all so familiar. That first week of trying to make sure that everyone is registered on all the courses they think they're registered on - cat -herding is exactly right. But let me tell you, Andi. that you will never lose that first day excitement. It stayed with me for the best part of forty years. If it ever goes, you should get out. Teaching should be about being excited.

  5. Happy first day of school! You should buy new sneakers. I always got new sneakers when school started. It's a good tradition.

  6. I'll be interested to see how you like teaching/working at home :) It takes lots of discipline, and sometimes I have it and sometimes I don't. I'm lucky to have the flexibility of doing it both ways (that sounds a little kinky, doesn't it???)

    Happy back to school daze!

  7. How come no matter how many times they've had a beginning of the school year, there always seems to be little glitches? I will never understand that.

  8. I suppose being hours away decreases the risk of completely shellshocked students wandering randomly into your office.

  9. Thanks, Terri! It's a hoot so far, and I'm not even all the way into it yet! And Plano is near me! Everyone in this area is so excited for Liukin.

    Amen, Os! Amen!

    Thanks, Carl! So far, so good!

    Ann, I hear that all the time re: get out if it loses the excitement. I completely agree with you, and I hope it never goes away. :)

    Nik, I've been contemplating new sneakers as a matter of fact! I like adidas best. But no pink. No no!

    LOL, Becca! I've been teaching a few courses a semester online, and that was good because I had a mix, so we'll see how the completely online thing goes. I've often said I would love it, but I hope I don't go stir crazy!

    Kim, you're sooo right, and I have no idea. ha!

    Right on, Stu! Right on!


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