Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Programming Note

You've probably noticed that my blogging has been sporadic lately, and I think you (the loyal FL! reader) deserve an explanation.

You see, Spring Quarter (stupid quarter system!) started recently and Fosco has a couple of abnormally time-consuming activities to deal with right now. For one thing, Fosco's teaching assignment is a course that has two sections a week. This means that I have to prep for section twice a week (Monday and Wednesday). And because I am constitutionally opposed to subjecting my students to time-wasting activities like "everyone get in small groups and talk about your papers while I sit at the front of the room and take a little nap," the extra prep time adds up. Not to mention that the professor for this course has allowed the TAs complete freedom in planning the course for their students (which is, in many ways, a good thing); however, this means that I don't have predetermined activities or assignments to fall back on.

The second time-consuming activity for me this quarter is the final course that I need to satisfy my language requirement. I read French pretty well and my previous French course (last year) was not a huge burden--we read the novels in French and had our discussion in English. However, the French course I am taking this quarter is not just French readings: the entire seminar (including discussion) is conducted in French! This is both difficult and terrifying (although the professor is perfectly understanding). I find myself planning in advance the simplest discussion comments (I frequently write out what I want to say in discussion the night before, so as to double check the grammar, etc.). It's getting a little easier every week, but I still spend almost every class (and it meets twice a week) feeling either panicked or embarrassed. You should have seen my deep blush today when I very publicly misunderstood one of the professor's directions. In addition, there is a passage translation due every week and I, with characteristic conscientiousness, try to make my translation perfect (while I regularly watch the undergrads in the seminar just sight-translate a passage). It's been a long time since I've felt so academically inferior in a class (well, since college physics) and while a humbling experience is always useful, it can also be painful.

I don't want all of this to sound like a bid for sympathy, because it's not--at least not primarily. I recognize very clearly the following things:

  1. I chose this life.
  2. I still have it pretty good.
  3. Lots of people have to work much harder than I do.
  4. At least I have a job.
  5. It's a privilege to be doing something that I (mostly) enjoy.
  6. It's all part of the process of becoming a professor.
  7. It will all someday be worth it.
  8. I could always quit and get a job waiting tables.
So there is no need to repeat any of these things, Dad. :) However, I did want to explain why my blog has been so empty lately (and why I've been so bad about reading and commenting on the blogs of some of my favorite people [esp. Jill!]).

The good news: I have a plan! My blogging may not reach pre-Spring-Quarter levels for a while, but I am going to try to ramp up my posting--starting now. Once again, thanks for your patience! My love to you all.


Jill said...

After reading all of this, I'm just incredibly proud of you...which I know is weird, since we don't know each other, but I am...so there! I've missed you, but what your doing is most important. I'm a patient girl!

FOSCO said...

That is SO incredibly sweet of you to say. I teared up a little... Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Silly blogger -- "FL" is not shorthand for Fosc Olives -- it's FO!

The BeeMaster

Word Verify: curgewr

A woman in her sexual prime who prefers to hunt rather than be hunted. And has a lisp.