Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Back at Work

I have been back from India for over 6 months now. I spent my summer in Columbus, teaching at Capital University again. It was quite a busy summer. Mom did not do so well, healthwise, so I was doing a lot of up and down to Windsor. I got only 2 or 3 weekends to myself. And then I spent my remaining 3 weeks of the 4 week vacation in Windsor also. So all my summer was gone like big issues, except of course my Mom. She is recovering....slowly.

It was interesting teaching at Capital. It was so nice to be teaching back in USA again. After the 10 weeks of teaching at Subharti, I was happy to be in a place where students attend classes, do the work, are not talking over me and I have technology in the classroom! It felt normal again. Students were really good and I really enjoyed it. Teaching at Capital gives me the relief that I need even from Palm Beach sometimes.

Then of course, I had to come back to Florida. I did not go to my office until the faculty meeting. Why bother? The cluster meeting was utterly useless. I don't talk to anyone, no one bothers to talk to me. It is the most dysfunctional department ever! Even more than Park and Shenandoah. Those departments were too small, but this one is big enough that people can talk to each other, but they don't. 

I had to try out my new teaching idea this semester with all the power point studies I had made for gen chem 1 and organic 1. Ugh!! That was a mess. Two things I did not account for: one - students don't print out stuff on time and two - so much grading for me!! It was too much. After 2-3 weeks of not getting work from them, I started getting copies for them, but then, so many would not come to class, so would not pick up the copy and so would not some frustration or another. On the other hand there were a high number of students who submitted all the work.

Organic 1 was a major disappointment this semester. Half the class is failing. First of all, not many students take my class because "someone" has told them not to. And the ones who take should know that they would have to work hard. Organic chemistry is not entry level class! I could not inspire them. Half the class will pass with good grades, while the other half will fail. It reflects poorly on me. But what to do? Go to teach at Capital in summer!! :-)

The college work life is the same. Nothing has changed. My colleagues are as sour as they come. We have not spoken for over two years. But who cares? Not the boss....he is equally bad. He has no communication skills and does not promote any kind of collaboration in the department or division. He is afraid to talk to anyone and I don't like talking to him at all. He has appreciated my input when I was the chair, but he still does not respect me or understand the difference between "someone" and me. He thinks we are all the same. Any person who cannot recognize the value of people who work for him, is not worth working for. Sadly, no one - HR, Dean, VPAA or the President - no can do anything about him. He is one of those people who will never get promoted, but he will also not go anywhere. So we are just stuck with a leader with no vision, no people value, no proactiveness or any quality that a leader should have. Maybe that is what the college wants! 

So essentially, I feel like a robot who goes in to teach with hardly any incentive to do anything creative. The students have their own lives and issues that they are not able to give time to college. The faculty have their own families that they don't want to socialize with colleagues. Our leaders are mere pencil pushers. The president is too far removed from faculty to have any influence. The only good thing that happened was that we got a little raise, because the college got "Gold" status. I think we all had a little bit to do with it. Ramos wanted 70% passing rate - he got it. I had to pass students I normally would not. 

So .... life just goes on at work. I have to inspire myself to keep myself motivated.