Sorry I haven't been around much lately. I'm trying to get ready for both the field trip and the start of semester. They overlap, which makes it just that little bit more difficult. I leave this Thursday, return on a Sunday night two weeks hence and have my first lecture the next day. At least it isn't at 9 am.
I've been spending the weekend updating notes, replacing the stuff that doesn't work, making up hand outs and reorganising the lab classes. I always forget how much time it takes. (Our workload allows two hours preparation for every hour of lecture. Someone should tell 'em they're dreamin'.)
There's still a pile of admin to work through over the next four days. Management have finally given us instructions on how many sessional staff we may employ this semester. (Not as many as we need.) This means there's still a lot of negotiation going on about work loads. And it's not Management that has to tell people that, although they've done a bloody good job for us over the past X years, we won't be needing them this year. Sorry. Now bugger off.
And then there's the unsatisfactory progress hearings, in which I'm supposed to counsel the students who haven't done quite as well as they should. It's a long list. A very long list. I'm not so much worried that I have to chat to them about their performance (although it's not a barrel of laughs for either party and it can be very upsetting) but I am concerned that the timing is so tight that I won't be able to do it myself. I'll have to land it on someone else. And that ain't fair on the poor sod who gets the job.
So I'm having a bit of a panic. And my BP continues to be a worry (for the GP, anyway), so I'm now on anti-hypertensives.
I did suggest to my boss that he persuade the Dean to offer voluntary departure packages but he (correctly) believes that it would be a slippery slope. Oh, well, another 666 days to go. (I miscalculated it the last time.)