By Meredith Farkas | January 27, 2010
My day started at 6:00 am when my husband and I got Reed fed, dressed, and ready for daycare. Adam drove him to daycare today since I was nearly out of gas and didn’t want to stop with him in the car. I’ll pick him up in the afternoon. I took a quick shower myself, skipped breakfast since I’ve been feeling nauseous the past few days, filled my water bottle, and headed to work.
Arrived at work by 7:45 and checked my email. Always amazing how much comes in after/before business hours.
Called Adam to make sure Reed got off to daycare ok (he did).
Met with our new Systems Librarian to talk about his evaluation of my teaching in the Popular Culture of Modern Europe (a senior seminar) class I taught last week. (We just started doing a peer evaluation of instruction project this semester for the first time and I’m really excited to see how it goes.) I had tried some new activities and was really happy with how it went for the most part. He really liked the primary source activity I did and though that most of the students really got into it (I chose some pretty fun primary sources for them to analyze). The weak points he noticed were the same ones I had noted that I wanted to improve upon. I also talked to him about instruction in general. He’s new to instruction and not yet confident in what he’s doing, so I talked to him about my own experiences early on with instruction (and how much I sucked) and told him that he just needs to keep doing it and find his own style of teaching.
Got a request for information literacy instruction from a faculty member in political science I’ve never worked with before. She asked me to teach in all four of her classes. AWESOME! I’ve been on a mission over the past two years to convince the faculty in the social sciences that I have something useful to offer, and finally, over the past few months, I feel like I’m at a tipping point. I’ve been offering faculty workshops on different topics and have been creating more online tutorials in areas they find valuable. Most importantly, I’ve made sure to tell them about everything I’ve been doing, and one faculty member who has become a “fan” has also been singing my praises. I’ve been getting emails from people who for years have never responded to any emails I’ve sent and I’m getting asked to do instruction for faculty I’ve never taught classes for before. It’s nice to know that the slow-and-steady strategy does sometimes work!
Got into a friendly debate on FriendFeed about Clay Shirky’s “Rant about women.” I love when you can discuss something with a group of people where you might disagree, but you’re still respectful and like each other at the end of it all. I didn’t stop work to go be on FriendFeed, but I’d peek at it every once in a while when I was working on other stuff and put my 2 cents in.
Wrote to the faculty member teaching the political science research methods course this semester to see if he’d be interested in my teaching an information literacy session for his students. He never responds to my emails that I send out to all faculty in his department, so I thought I’d try the personal route. Not sure he’ll see a need for it, but it’s worth a try.
Talked to the Head of Reference about scheduling a reference/instruction meeting for next week. I want to review with everyone how the first few peer reviews have gone and answer any questions I can for people who haven’t done it yet. Lots more to discuss in reference though.
Talked to our new Systems Librarian about teaching one of the classes I have coming up. He chose History 108, where students need to do research for a recreation of the Paris Peace Conference (where each group of students will represent one of the countries or interests there – it’s a cool assignment!). I’ve got six sections of this class coming in, so he’ll be able to observe me before doing it himself. Made a mental note to email the faculty member and let him know – he’s a really nice guy, so I’m sure he’ll welcome the opportunity to give my colleague more experience teaching.
Started to work on course guides for the upcoming political science classes. Will have to create three in a hurry plus one on Modern Russian History, so my workload just increased!
Shoved some food in my mouth before running to give a brown bag lunch presentation for the School of Graduate Studies on using Drupal in education and talked about my experiences using it at San Jose State. One faculty member is interested in using it as a community platform for students in his online program where they could communicate across classes and share resources. It sounds like an ideal use of Drupal.
Attended a library all-staff meeting where our new Systems Librarian unveiled his idea for the new front page of our website. I like the concept and with some polishing on the graphical design end, it’ll be a great improvement to our site. Must say that I’m glad it’s not me having to do that anymore – I was the webmaster for several years and, while it was nice to have that sort of control, it was a pain to try and make everyone happy. I’m not sure our Systems Librarian really knows what he’s in for!
Checked feeds, took a look at recent issues of C&RL and C&RL News. Checked out some flights for two conferences I’ll be attending in April and May. I want to minimize my time away from Reed since I’ve never actually been away from him for even a 24-hour period yet! Just thinking about being away from him for a few days makes me teary.
My class for San Jose State started today and I commented on some of the posts students have been making. Looks like a really great group of students!
Worked more on course guides for those upcoming classes. I’m particularly excited about teaching the one on Asian Politics!
At 4:30, I headed over the mountain to Reed’s daycare to pick him up. He was playing happily with toys and didn’t even notice me when I came in until I called his name. Then we headed home for play and bath-time. He’s got a little cold and is SO CLOSE to getting his first tooth, so he’s been in a not-so-great mood on-and-off. Still, we had a pretty nice evening and he got to bed at his usual time (though he woke up 5 or 6 times that night, sigh). After he went to bed (around 7pm), I answered some emails, made some comments in my Drupal classroom, and folded and put away some laundry while watching “Chuck” on our TiVo.