This entire semester has, to put it simply, been riding the struggle bus. While it started off well, the wheels came off rather quickly. There are multiple reasons, and although I always attempt to roll with the punches, the punches have been fast and furious.
It has been a start-stop-start-stop-start-stop semester from the get go. It has been almost impossible to get into any sort of rhythm, this semester, and to be honest teaching is often about finding a rhythm in the semester and keeping with it. That’s not happened in this, the Spring semester of 2015.
First all of us lost – at a minimum - a week of classes due to snow in February. Many of us lost more than that. This caused all kinds of headaches, not just for me, but also for all the other faculty and the students as well. Lectures had to be dropped or combined, assignments needed to be delayed, or eliminated outright. When you hit a patch like that you simply have to make compromises and rearrange as best you can, and muddle along.
A week or so after recovering from the cancelled classes, Spring Break came. And while normally Spring Break is a reprieve from the grind, this semester it simply became another stopping point, another interruption into the “groove” that was finally beginning to be established during the semester. Once we got back, the groove, the flow of the semester, was pretty much back on track.
And then, two weeks after Spring Break, the first week of April, I got the flu. I’m one of those lucky people who, whether or not I get the flu shot, gets the flu every year. Unlike most everyone else, however, who gets the flu like a normal person in the winter, I always seem to get the flu in April. (I dunno why.) So scratch two more classes from the semester. Again, start-stop-start-stop-start-stop. Again, reevaluating assignments, readings, etc. for my classes. Rolling with the punches.
When we started back up again, we had two weeks. Even though, thanks to US Air-American Airlines, I was unable to attend the Central States Communication Association Convention, those days were pre-planned off and listed as such in my syllabus. Two more classes cancelled. If I had known ahead of time that I would be unable to make it (and lose my hotel monies in the process, because the cancellation happened so late) I would have held classes instead. Start-stop.
And now there are two weeks left of the semester and then finals. It has been a rough one. Summer cannot get here soon enough.