Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Back to work!

I started back to work yesterday. Although I was more than ready to get back into the routine, I do miss being home with Wyatt. He really was an easy baby to take care of -- eat, change diaper, sleep, look cute and so on. He started with the new daycare yesterday and there weren't any problems to my knowledge.

As for work, the campus seems quiet for the beginning of the new semester. Our overall enrollment is down slightly which probably means further budget cuts. Hopefully, we'll get some last minute enrollments to keep our numbers up.

LIB 101 starts next week and I am still polishing up the lectures and assignments. Not a lot of heavy lifting there, just some fine tuning. I've had to tighten up the attendance policy because of last semester's miscreants. I had three students miss 4 of 16 classes with no excuses given. Tardiness was also a big problem -- several students came 10-15 minutes late to a 50 minute class, including two of the 4 absence students. I didn't have any problems last spring semester with an older class (mostly sophomores and juniors), so I figured brand new freshmen and a couple of sophomores would be able to handle it. The maturity just wasn't there, so I will have to crack down.

If I was a student in my class at 19-20 years of age, I might have abused the attendance policy -- but certainly not 25% of the class meetings. I have to remember that my most recent academic experience was as an adult graduate student. Clemson had a pretty rigid attendance policy which I thought was Mickey Mouse back then, but I see the reasoning behind it. I just figured that the maturity level of a 19 year old was a little higher than it was. I guess not.

On the book front, I am waiting for a couple more Alan Furst books to arrive via interlibrary loan. In the meantime, I am reading David Hackworth's Vietnam-era memoir Steel My Soldiers' Hearts. It is sluggish going so far, but should be interesting once it gets going. Hackworth joined the army at age 15 and was in the occupation forces in Italy after World War II. He also served prominently in Korea and in the early stages of Vietnam. This book, co-written with his wife, details his job in turning around a misfit Army battalion in early 1969. This guy earned ten (!) Silver Stars for meritorious valor -- the military's highest award short of the Medal of Honor and Distinguished Service Cross.

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