September 04, 2010

Settling in

So, I'm settling in to the new job at Monmouth, and enjoying it so far. I'd never had three simultaneous new preps before (Knox's trimesters meant I maxed out at two), so there's a lot of juggling as I plot out my homeworks and activities and such, but it's nice that with a 15-week term I can stagger my due dates a little more. The commute is a bit of a drag, as predicted, although ultimately it's probably more accurate to say that I got spoiled at Knox. :) The 8am class is a bit tricky, too---I haven't had an 8:00 class since my sophomore year of high school, in 1991---but there at least I can commiserate with the students.

There's certainly a lot to love, though. My office, similar in size to the one at Knox, has miles of bookshelves and a window that actually opens. The IT department ("IS") has a few policies I don't love (e.g. my provided desktop is a Windows box) but it has an actual help ticket system that I can check on and that they respond to; they don't pretend ssh is some sort of security hole, so I can ssh into the department Linux box; and they provide open wireless across campus and don't require me to install proprietary malware on my own machine in order to use it. The department has a clicker system that I've been playing with a lot in my stats class to keep the students paying attention and engaged, and I *think* they're working. The admissions staff regularly meets with departments across campus to get updates on what sorts of things they can brag about and arguments they can use to recruit good students.

And then there's the faculty. During orientation, I completely lost track of just how many people I was introduced to that had a bachelor's or master's in some field completely different than their PhD. A lot of them wear multiple hats, and I'm getting a strong sense that the faculty actually are involved in the running of the place, rather than trying to professionalise the "other stuff". My glasses are coloured by my experience, so I might be reading too much into that, but it's still nice to see.

I do regret living 15 miles away, though. It makes it a lot harder to go to life-of-the-college events that go on in the evenings or on weekends. If this were a long-term appointment, I think I'd seriously consider moving....

Why major in CS?: "It seems obvious to me that one would have to be an idiot to be employed doing anything other than practicing magic in a world filled with sorcery." --Maxwell Galloway-Carson

Posted by blahedo at 12:44pm on 4 Sep 2010
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