Things are just dandy here in Small College Town. We are in our last week before spring break right now and I am so thrilled to have that break from teaching coming my way. My classes aren't too tough, but the big freshmen course is more work than usual since I changed books (and am wondering if that was a good decision or not). I am having stupid annoying discipline issues with them, too. Last spring when I taught this class at 8:00AM, nobody was awake enough to chat with their friends, but at 11:00, they can be a real pain in the ass. Some days, I feel like they are so bored and I wish that I hadn't made participation part of the grade. Then the non-engaged students could just stay away. There's always next semester, I guess. My other class is OK, but it's a technical one (that includes some basic physics), so there are always some students who really just don't get it. It's times like those that I switch back and forth from thinking I am a terrible teacher to thinking that they never do the reading or they are just not up to the task. Sigh.
Research? What's that? I have not done any research lately and am just thankful to have been on grad committees of students who are publishing and I am a co-author. At least my annual report had three papers in review- two from students. You may remember my RA saga from last spring and fall and how I have a total disaster on my hands? Well, I have told this student that s/he will not be working for me next year and the department has reserved a TA for him/her (which I think is a mistake). I am now in a mess, because we have a TA shortage and I want to offer my RA to a new student. So far, this is on hold, but far from resolved. All year, I keep second guessing myself and thinking that maybe my RA is really OK and can do the work I need. Well, we finally got to some basic tasks and s/he even messed that up. In a way, I am glad, because it shows me that I was not crazy to question his/her abilities, but I am also annoyed that my grant money is being wasted to pay this person for the whole year and I have no way to get out of it until May. Sigh.
Otherwise, H and D are fine. D went for her first sleep over this weekend and had a fun time. She is still loving her riding lessons and doing well with piano and reading at a 7th grade level (she's in 3rd grade) and sold LOTS of girl scout cookies. She seems to have some organizational issues with her school work, but hopefully she can work that out!
To end on a positive note, I was very pleased to have another brief (micro?) blogger meet-up last week. I won't mention who it was, since she has not blogged about this trip, but I will say that it was very good to meet her and I hope that she may even be coming back here soon! (fingers crossed!)