The following online journal entries are from February 2004.
MONDAY. 10:21 PM. I just want to sleep. The only problem is that as of late I have not been sleeping particularly well. I guess it could be a mild case of insomnia. Since the start of classes, it takes me an extra long time to fall asleep. Normally, I lay day, think about a few things, and then slip off into the land of nod. But lately it takes me an hour, sometimes a couple of hours, to get to sleep. Couple getting to bed late with getting up at a normal, morning hour and I end up with not enough rest.
The past week or so has been really busy. Last week marked the first full week of classes. I taught. I went to my own classes. And I started training at my new job. I've had a ton of reading to do almost every night this week. Plus, I decided that I would volunteer to be the first class discussion "facilitator" and "presenter" for both my digital studies class and my queering citizenship seminar.
Early last week, I spent most of my time reading for classes. Lots and lots of reading. I think my touch-and-go relationship to caffeine plus the stress of trying to get everything done explains my odd sleeplessness. I really, really need to give up the caffeine again. I know I'm not addicted (thank goodness), but I have started using it as a way to capture some pep while my brain and body are running on empty.
Last Wednesday night, I led the discussion on Walter Ong's Orality and Literacy for my digital studies class. I opened with a few comments about the text, then posed a few questions, and the rest of the class period erupted into a heated back and forth discussion. Everyone said that I did such a great job with the class, but I barely did any leading. The conversation began and gained speed on its own. The class looks like it will be a pretty good group of people. One oral presentation down.
Wednesday night, Ryan came over and hung out. I hadn't seen him in a long while. He's been busy with work and life and such. We had a few drinks, watched some cheesy television, and talked. It was nice to spend a little time with him. He's moving out of his place this month in order to save some money and such. He's supposed to be moving some of his stuff over to my house to store it. I'm also to take ward of his cat while he is in between residences.
Thursday, I went in for my first official day of work at the Division of Letters and Sciences. I got the tour of the office, met a lot of the people in the office including the two other new GAs, got my advising handbook, and basically hung out observing the goings-on of the office. I was assigned my own office. It's my own space all to myself. The other two GAs are sharing an office. Somehow I lucked out and got my own 9' x 9' room. I've never had my own office before. Now I have to figure out how to set it up, decorate it, and officially "move in."
The weekend was pretty uneventful. I spent most of it reading for my queering citizenship seminar. I did spend a few hours over at Meredith's house with some folks. We hung out, ordered dinner, and watched movies. I also logged a bunch of hours at the coffee house. Sunday evening we gamed. It was not a good weekend for sleep. Saturday night, I read until about 2 AM. I tried to go to bed but didn't fall asleep till like 5 AM. Then I woke up around 8 AM. I have to figure this whole sleep thing out.
Today, Monday, was my second day at L&S. I had bought a couple of lamps for my office because the overhead florescent lighting makes my tiny office feel like a hospital examination room. I got to watch a few advising appointments and spent a good deal of the morning sitting at the front desk shadowing the desk people. I even managed to answer a few questions for students and take a couple of phone calls.
Teaching went all right. My students turned in their first assignment. And we had a video day today. I still haven't figured out whether my kids will be a good bunch or not. One thing I know they sorely lack is listening skills. I have to repeat an instruction or a bit of lecture a few times, and even then I'm not always guaranteed they get it. I have even sent out email reminders about stuff and they still forget to do something.
I had my second class discussion presentation and facilitation today for my queering citizenship seminar. We read Sexual Strangers: Gays, Lesbians, and Dilemmas of Citizenship by Shane Phelan. The class went pretty well. My little spiel went all right, I think. It wasn't stellar, but I had a little activity that people found interesting if not enjoyable. People said I did a good job. So, I am pleased. I'm more pleased that my second and final oral presentation is done. Now I just have all the other work to do, but I have the rest of the semester to worry about it.
Work, teach, class, read, work, read, class, read, work, teach, class, read, work, read. It's going to be a pretty consuming semester. I still have to figure out how to squeeze in having a decent, human, fun, and avocational life. Fortunately, I also bought myself a new executive chair from Ikea for my office. I'm going to try to rearrange my office space this week. Then I'll be ready to work, teach, class, read, and write more comfortably and productively. I hope.
Here are my answers:
Section One: Just a few propositions to start with, concerning -- no less -- how you see the country and the world.
Section Two: Now, the economy. We're talking attitudes here, not the FTSE index.
Section Three: Now a look at some of your personal social values...
Section Four: ...and how you see the wider society.
Section Five: If you got through that okay, you'll find these propositions on religion a breeze.
Section Six: Finally, a look at sex.
Your political compass:
Economic Left/Right: -5.38
I share a political compass with: Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, and The Dalai Lama.
© 2004 Edmond Y. Chang. All original material. All rights reserved.
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