It's great to hear the sound of students hard at work in my building, even if at the moment it's just a small group of early-arrival international students working on their English skills. This morning one of them was walking up and down the hall outside my office carefully repeating the word redneck over and over. Practicing pronunciation, no doubt--but for what purpose? How often does the word redneck come up in an international student's summer coursework? It's a mystery.
Who's supposed to get our departmental copier fixed before our new administrative assistant starts her duties? How will I get my syllabi copied before the onslaught?
With no building coordinator available to take complaints, whom do I notify when the departmental kitchenette loses power? What if I need to heat water for tea? I hope no one left anything perishable in the mini-fridge!
Why does the Chronicle of Higher Education have to publish all those depressing salary figures every August just when I'm preparing to pour body and soul into innovative and exhausting pedagogy? According to the current figures, my salary is about on target for an associate professor of English at a private four-year college, which would be great news if I were an associate professor. The full professor average salary is so far out of reach that it may as well be on Jupiter. Am I doomed to remain eternally below average?
Why do I have to start the week on such a negative note? Bring back my students! I need them to remind me why I'm here and to make me want to keep going despite the petty problems of a miserable Monday.