31 January 2005

Two Weeks and Counting

School begins on February 14. After a break of over a month, I really don't want to go back. Mind you, I haven't been teaching for long. Nor have I been surfing for long. But the former is the way I make a little bit of money ("little bit" being the operative words). I last taught in mid-December and looked forward to the long break of almost two months. I stopped appreciating the break on December 27. That's when the rains came. (Can you tell that I live in Southern California?) It was almost three weeks before I got back into the water. What kind of break is that? I also realized the break was not something joyful when it occurred to me that I wouldn't see a paycheck again until March! No surf and no money!!!

So here I am, trying to prepare syllabi for my two classes. I can barely make it through one of the novels I've assigned. Word to the wise: when Amazon.com says people who bought your book also recommend another book, don't listen. I'm suffering through this damn Tom Robbins novel. I expect my students to either stop coming to class when we get to that part of the semester or come right out and tell me the book sucks. How can I make them appreciate this book if I think it sucks too? It's too late to cancel the textbook order. I'm stuck with this thing now. On top of all that, I still have to go through the textbook (which I used last semester for a class I was given two weeks before school started) and actually read the selections. Obviously, I'm not ready. My other class is a mess. I agreed to take over a class for another teacher. Of course, no one gave me any of the details. I finally called the division office today to remind them that I have no idea which textbook that teacher ordered and, therefore, can't prepare my syllabus without that book. As usual, they were of no help. I'll have to figure all of this out for myself. That's why I surf. It keeps me from wanting to stick pencils in the eyes of people who piss me off.