The last final exams are being written this week; final essays are either being handed in or handed back. It is the last week of the term. And the final days of 2011.
Are you going away over Christmas? I am. Just for a couple of days to a resort up north for some relaxing downtime with my partner. Actually that will be before Christmas, but the interlude between party season and Christmas itself is much appreciated.
How many parties/lunches/drinks/get togethers did you go to? I went to NINE. Lots of good cheer, but I am almost all talked out.
Did you attend a department/work Christmas party? I did, and so did many others in the English department. You can read Professor Aimee Morrison’s account of it here. It was a blast. Truly.
Are you looking forward to the holidays? I am. It’s the time of year when we professors do a mental clear out of this term’s teaching and switch gears for next term’s courses. We’re preparing syllabi and checking book stocks and visiting our new classrooms. We file one lot of lectures/handouts/assignments (or, more likely, move the pile from one space to another in our offices). We re-shelve the books taught and make space for the next lot that we are about to teach. Oh, and we’ll have a new online course management system as well.
So, gentle readers: I’m going away for a few days and at the end of this week the university will close until January 3rd. I’ll be taking a break from blog writing but will return in January all rested and revved up. Thank you for following me/us on this new venture these many months, and I look forward to ‘talking’ to you soon.
Meanwhile I wish you all a very Happy Holidays — however you celebrate the season. Me, I love a Bing Crosby song. Here’s to you!
It’s the last day of classes. Sigh.
What this means for most English professors is a lot of essay marking, exams to design and then to mark, and next term’s courses to prepare. Syllabi, courseware packages, items on reserve, new lectures to write or old lectures to refresh. There are meetings. Lots of meetings, both in the department and in various other academic and governance venues. For me, and no doubt for others too, there are reference letters to write, essays submitted to scholarly journals to vet, perhaps a book manuscript to evaluate for a press, or a published book to review, or a tenure and promotion case to evaluate. And, of course, all sorts of research related activities, which really never stop.
For students the end of term brings some welcome relief–seminars are done! essays are done! classes are done! But also exam preparation and exam writing. As for graduate students, some have just written area exams and most are completing term papers or other projects. Some are writing dissertation chapters and preparing for postdoctoral fellowships or jobs. Soon, though, most student will be heading home for the holidays (even if KW is already home). And I sincerely hope that all students enjoy some downtime. Read something that is NOT related to your school work. Go to a movie. Get outside and away from your computer.
Seriously. We all need to stop working at least for a while.
And there will be parties. Google “Academic Christmas party” and this is what you can find!
Celebrating the season in 1850
This weekend we’ll be gathering as a department to enjoy some wassail or other seasonal beverages and to enjoy each others’ company. The annual Christmas party is always a jolly affair, and we’re lucky to have one of our colleagues host it in her lovely home.
Um, what’ll I wear? What are you going to be wearing at your Christmas party? Glitter or wool? frock or jeans? silk shirt or t-shirt?