Wednesday, May 11, 2005

One whole hour

I have an hour that's all mine, for the first time in I can't even remember how long. It's 6pm and I'm at school, where I've been since 10 this morning. I just finished my classes, and now I'm killing an hour before I go out to dinner with a colleague. She and I co-advise the student glbt club and it's election night, so we have to go to their 9pm meeting to count the votes. I know this makes me sound old, but 9pm is way too late.

The day started with a two hour faculty meeting where we sat around a table and really talked about our curriculum--what do we want for our students at the end of their majors, how do we make sure they get that, how do we organize the course sequencing so that we aren't repeating information or totally missing areas. I gotta say, I LOVE meetings like this. I like curriculum development and I love being in a program where I actually have a say in the curriculum, which is why I chose women's and gender studies over the English dept. And I love having colleagues who are all really into this--with only 8 or so of us, there isn't really room for apathy. So we talk about what works, what doesn't, what we wish we had done better, what we hope accomplish next etc. and it feels real, like it's really work, in the satisfying way you hoped it would when you read the Seventeen special job issue when you were a teenager and fantasized about what you would do with your life. (The hideous part is that I actually make just about what I thought my dream job would pay. That is, what I thought my dream job would pay in 1984.)

Today I feel like maybe this is a real place and a real career. I like what New Kid said about post-graduate conferencing. I actually haven't been to many conferences since I got my job, but I certainly went to a lot during grad school and my post doc (which is why I can hardly bring myself to go to them now) and I know the disempowered part of what she is saying. But these meetings, this conversing, this building/shaping/reshaping a program is good stuff. Which is not to say that we all agree or that people don't say dumb things or that some people don't take way too long to say simple things. But if I have to have a job, I like this one today. A lot.

Classes were cakey: in one class I showed Real Women Have Curves and in the other, the diva class, we had student presentations on Celia Cruz, Josephine Baker, and Bjork, all of which were really good--informative, but also highly analytical. And any day which includes an in-depth discussion of Celia Cruz's wigs is a good day, right?

So now I only have 45 minutes left. Should I file those papers that have been sitting on top of my filing cabinet since the fall? Should I grade that stack of quizzes? Should I comment on student project proposals? Should I look at real estate I can't afford on Craig's List? Or should I take out my contacts and crawl under my desk for a quick nap?

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