If We Were Having Coffee: First Day of School Edition

admin-ajax.phpIf we were having coffee . . .

I’d tell you that the first day of classes at our university is actually tomorrow, but I’m pretty sure there won’t be time to chat with you tomorrow. So I’m happy to have this time with you now.

I’d also warn you that I have a lot to say about my teaching schedule and how things work at our university, since I’ve never really told you much about it before.

If we were having coffee . . .

I’d tell you that my schedule of courses went through quite a shift on Friday.  I have to scramble a bit, but overall I’m pleased with the new schedule. It’s much more interesting (and challenging) than the one I had before Friday, even though I’ve spent part of the weekend prepping for the first meeting of a class I haven’t taught before.

If we were having coffee . . .

I’m actually happy about going back to classes, when it was only a couple weeks ago when I wasn’t so sure about whether I’d have enough energy, and ideas, and motivation, and patience. I am so grateful that things came together for me in time.

If we were having coffee . . .

I’d respond to your question about what I am teaching this year. I’d tell you that my 13 credit hours of classes are spread out over three days–Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and I’m teaching my first night class. I’d tell you that 13 hours works out to six classes, which will probably surprise you. Several of the courses at our university are two credit hours each, and many of them actually run for two semesters. Only two of my classes are the same, so I’ll be prepping for five different classes each week. Luckily, there is some crossover in terms of activities that I can use with the students.

If we were having coffee . . .

I’d tell you that I teach for two departments–the English Language Center (ELC) and the Department of Applied English (DAE). What’s the difference, you ask? Well, DAE is the department for students who are majoring in English. All other students in the university, regardless of major, still have to take some required English courses. And that’s where the ELC comes in. They provide basic EFL (English as a Foreign Language) courses for non-English majors. The writing classes are two hours each–so that makes 6 hours.

If we were having coffee . . .

I’d tell you that I teach three classes for the DAE, all writing courses. One of them is first year writing for the freshmen, and the other two are second year writing for sophomores.  In the ELC, I teach two classes of seniors, but one of those classes is a specialized one that I developed (and have adjusted over the last couple of years) for students in the Architecture Department. Architecture is one of the few departments that has students for five years (instead of four), and they’re usually so busy that they aren’t too interested in English class. So let’s just say that they can be a challenge; but so far, I have been up for it.  [These English classes for seniors (or other 4th year students) are 2 hours each–for 4 hours.]

If we were having coffee . . .

I’d tell you that my last three hours are my first evening class, which is an advanced English course (for non-English majors) who want more than just the basic requirement. It is a three-credit course called Oral Reports, and I am frantically putting things together for tomorrow night. (Of course, it’s on the first day.) But the good news is that I’ve been working on some ideas, and I’m feeling fairly confident about it. I will be able to access the past year’s syllabus in the morning, and then I can finalize things. [Luckily, I did get a copy of the TOC (Table of Contents) and the first chapter of the book.]

If we were having coffee . . .

I’d ask if you have any other questions about what I’m teaching, just ask me. I’d be happy to share.

If we were having coffee . . .

I’d tell you that it’s 246 days til 60!


34 comments on “If We Were Having Coffee: First Day of School Edition

  1. You are a busy lady! I loved school and miss my college days. I am taking two WordPress classes starting tomorrow. Find some time for you in all of this ♡

    • Thanks, Tina! I appreciate your good wishes. It’s busy, but overall, my
      teaching is very rewarding. We’ll see how enthusiastic I feel around
      week 11 when I still have 7 more to go. LOL

  2. Hi Deborah, I can see you really love teaching, I do as well, but this semester I’m off teaching, I need to focus more on my research. But reading your post I’m already missing it. Have a great semester!

    • Hi Elizabeth! It’s such a balancing act between teaching and research,
      isn’t it? I’m actually gathering some data in my writing classes, so
      hopefully on the semester break, I can put a draft together. I wish you
      a productive semester researching, so you can get back to your first
      love. 🙂

  3. Part of me misses/missed not going to school/college this year. This September was my first since beginning my education that I haven’t gone. It felt strange not having to go supplt shopping, especially since I am now working in the place in which I used to buy my supplies!

    • That must seem really weird, but you are learning in your own way,
      exploring different forms of artistic expression. And you can always go
      back to school or take classes in some other venue. I was in my 40’s
      when I returned to school, so you never know what lies ahead. I do have
      one secret though. I love school supplies so much, I will shop for them
      even when I’m not going to school. 😉 Thanks for commenting. 🙂

    • Thanks, Bernice! At the moment, I’m pretty psyched about it all. We’ll
      see how long it lasts. The one thing I don’t really like is that our
      semesters are longer than what we had in the US, so it seems to drag a
      bit at the end, but I’m going to try to build in some “motivating”
      activities for that last push at the end. 🙂

  4. We are having coffee, and I love these long-distance chats we have! I’m quite impressed with your schedule and enthusiasm – it must be both challenging and fun to watch people with a very different language base getting the hang of the muddle that is English!

    I know you’ll be busy tomorrow (well, today, already, for you!) but I’ll have Coffee and Conversation waiting whenever you get the chance to pop by.

    Wishing you a lovely first day of class! =D

    • Thanks! I’ve now made it through the first week, and it was really great! I’ve got some really good students this year. You can just tell when they actually start engaging right during the first class. YAY! 🙂

    • Thanks, Willow, but I usually try to have tea when you’re visiting. 🙂

      Yeah, it’s busy, but I think it’s going to be an awesome school year.

      Hoping to stop by and see you more often now that things are settling down a bit. xxx

  5. How refreshing to read about a teacher (at any level) that seems happy that she has a challenging schedule. It sounds like a lot of work, but your students will benefit from it.

    • Thanks! I really do love teaching. It’s impossible to reach everyone, but if I can make a difference in the way even a few students feel about themselves, about English, and about learning, that’s enough to keep me jazzed. 🙂

      My greatest joy is to take students who are trying to write in English as a foreign language, and getting them to see that it isn’t so bad. They are STUNNED when I tell them that we are going to start by expressing ideas, NOT worrying about grammar. I tell them, “I can help you fix your grammar. I can’t pull the ideas out of your head.”

      I teach more writing classes on average than anyone else at our university. People think I’m weird, but that’s ok. 🙂

  6. That’s a list t of coffee we just had there, I’m wired to the moon now ffs lol
    On first glance I was like that’s not to bad, and then you said it was all different classes. Good luck, you will, I have no doubt whatsoever, be fabulous 🙂

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