Slowly Coming To Life

2011 is slowly creeping to life – public transport is almost back to ‘normal’, the number of emails received daily has increased from one or two spam (seriously, if the email includes the words dearest, beloved, murdered or blessings, there’s about a 90% chance it’s spam) to a steady trickle of things, and Brian Cox is on the TV!   My office is also still quite tidy but that wont last.

January is a funny month, the first week is a quiet ‘getting things done’ week when there is a sense of plenty time, little urgency and opportunity to do those things that got pushed aside during the mad semester rush.  The second week sees an end to the sense of plenty time, certain things become more urgent and as the students return to exams, an end to predictable periods of quiet.  The second week this year, for me, is busier with about half the week going in whole or half day events.  The third week brings forecasts of panic and marking – panic because it is the last week of relatively unscheduled time before semester proper starts and that means frantic course preparation, marking because the exam period is still ongoing and I always feel a real need to get the marking out of the way before week 1 of the semester.  The fourth week in January is week 1 of the semester and will probably hit hard, as if none of us had been expecting it.  Suddenly there’s a timetable dictating the days, campus will be busy and it will be virtually impossible to get sandwiches after 12.15 pm!

On the to do list:

1. finish grant application 1 (estimate approximately 50 % done, one of those ‘first round, second round’ things so we’re through the first round and the application just needs fleshed out with greater detail). Target Date: January 31st

2. start grant application 2 (estimate approximately 10% done currently, lots of reading required, budget needs figured out etc).  Target Date: February 28th

3.  finish course prep for module 1 (3/10 lectures polished up, other 7 lectures, problem sheets and assessment to do)

4. finish course prep for module 2 (1/5 lectures polished up, other 4 lectures, problem sheets and assessment to do)

5. finish course prep for module 3 (3/6 lectures polished up, other 3 lectures, problem sheets, assessments and lab to do)

6.  finalise project for ‘Teaching and Learning with Technology’ course and fit chosen technology stuff into one of modules 1 – 3 (or some combination).  Presentation in early January.

7. Random other things that involve writing at least 4000 words on various topics…

How long until the summer holiday?