Monday, December 09, 2002

No Garfield, I

A few years ago I managed to make a successful case to the folks I work with (and work for) that my evening and weekend responsibilities should allow me a bit of flex-time during the week when I am otherwise expected to be running the school media center. Since then, I have taken Monday mornings off. I find this significantly softens the blow of the work-week.

This term, I have a class on my home campus from 2:10 to 3:40 on Monday afternoons. Because I'm going to have to prepare my materials for an hour or so before class, I don't go in to the office at all. It's not a bad life: sleep until 9:30, babycare in the mornings for an hour while Darcie goes to work, lunch out of the fridge instead of the dining hall, and then an hour to wander and prepare my class notes after Darcie's mother shows up around 1:00 for childcare. Then Mass Media Messages, the kind of course which makes everyone wish they were in my class:

MED09 Mass Media Messages
Butthead, Bart, Kyle, and Cartman: A study in mass media. Through close media exploration and analysis of Beavis and Butthead, The Simpsons, and South Park, three "generations" of controversial animated sitcoms which use the unique perspective of young people to frame satirical portrayals of society, cultural norms, popular culture, current events, and the adult/youth dynamic in modern American culture, students in this course will identify common themes in mass media and in society today, and will discuss the meaning of their particular manifestations in various media forms. Specific topics will include gender, race, violence, patriotism, generational difference, and other issues of identity and morality.

The class is the only one I teach in Winter term in our trimester system, and it's a minor course, so it meets only twice a week, has no homework, and is serious but ultimately lower-stakes from both student and institutional perspective. Fall I also teach Intro to Web design in the minor course curriculum; Spring I also teach an Advanced Web Strategy minor course; Fall and Spring terms I teach a half-credit major course (major being the "real" courses here at NMH, with homework and tests and GPA relevance; these are the ones that colleges care about), a Social Science course called Media Literacy but the enrollment for that major course is still not high enough to justify a Winter term section as well, so I get a break in Winter to focus more on the Ed Tech part of my job.

It's a good life, and a good vocation. I never understood people who don't like or don't care about what they do all day, who work for money, who have jobs and responsibilities instead of vocations and roles. Why would you spend so much of your life miserable?

posted by boyhowdy | 12:00 PM |

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