Thursday, January 09, 2003

There's no such thing as a typical morning. But once a month (or so) a day comes where I'm not teaching my own class, have no meetings and no students scheduled to stop by for assistance with their video or media and cultural studies project, have no teachers to partner with or teach how to scan or burn CDs, have been asked to give no in-class lectures about PowerPoint or web projects or, nowadays, blogging. That rare day is, frankly, boring, but perhaps a closer look provides a foundation for, um, something. For what it's worth:

Arrive at 9:00; Patty, the paraprofessional who runs the center while I traipse around the school's 3700 acres to meetings and classrooms for teacher partnerships, has been in since 8:00, helping teachers find the videos they need for the day's class and setting them up in theatres and viewing rooms if they want that out-of-classroom experience. We get coffee and stand facing each other across the octagonal countertop islands, catching up on which teacher is working on which project and how we are supporting that work, what's working and what's broken, what's coming up and how to plan for it, and more general chitchat about parenting and pedagogy, until about 9:45. Outside, the day is warming up, softening last night's snowfall; snow avalanches fall from the rooftops, past the windows, and land with wet thumps.

During the break between blocks -- Northfield Mount Hermon is on a block schedule, so students take only two classes each day -- faculty and students are a constant stream, cheerful and chilly. Most come through on their way from mailroom to library, but a few need assistance: students want access to the video catalog for research or to recover content from a missed class, teachers want to book or take out those videos or reserve a slot in the theatre for next week. Student passing time lasts until 10:30, with e-mail and deskwork to follow; it's nice, after all, to have a day once in a while where one can plan ahead and clear the desk in anticipation of another two weeks of whirlwind-on-the-go.

Tomorrow I'm back on the move, in David's Issues of the 21st Century class all morning to continue our work on a term-long non-linear research project, teaching my own Mass Media Messages class in the later afternoon. Now, though, the pace is gentle, a rarity here at NMH. Patty's reviewing new collections possibilities while I take a few moments to blog with an ear out for the boss; she just came in to let me know that there's a video out called Pregnancy For Dummies, and we make fun of it for an appropriate moment. 20 minutes more, and I can go home for lunch with the baby. Advising and a campus meeting on gender issues to follow.

posted by boyhowdy | 12:03 PM |

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