Monday, October 31, 2005

Semi-Normal

That's where we are right now in Hattiesburg, and that is what is considered excellent these days. A number of businesses are still closed, debris piles still line the streets, and it is still most unusual to see a roof without a tarp on it. Traffic is still jammed, hotels are still overbooked, and roads are still blocked to make way for bucket trucks and tractors. A steady stream of FEMA trailors is still flowing down I-59. The main topic of conversation at lunch is still, "Have you seen your adjustor yet?" Other popular topics include: "Have you been treating for mold?"; "Does it seem like there is more illness and death than normal lately?"; "Are you sleeping normally yet?"

Semi-normal. That's where we are.

That's good. School is moving right along. We've added five extra minutes to every class period to make up the two weeks missed. Somehow this seems to translate to less time to get things done because nobody can remember when exactly things are supposed to begin and end anymore. Nobody really cares. We are just getting through from one thing to the next and making the best of the time we have.

I am somewhat overloaded. Okay, make that extremely overloaded. Make that to-the-breaking-point overloaded. Make that it's-a-miracle-no one-has-been-hurt-yet overloaded.

One instructor never came back after the hurricane. In the divvying up of her classes, I ended up teaching seven sections this semester. Yes, that's one, two, three, four, five, six, SEVEN! I have two lits, four comps, and a development reading class. I've never taught developmental reading before, nor do I have any background in developmental teaching at all. I'll leave it to your imaginations how I'm managing a new prep in the midst of grading for seven sections.

Then there is SACS. We're up for accreditation review, and I've landed myself on something called a QEP committee. More on that later, but suffice it to say for now, it seems to be all about having lots of meetings and producing lots of paperwork, paperwork, paperwork. I'm thrilled to have been chosen.

But that's enough of that. We're making it here. Here's hoping next semester progresses to near-normal. :)

9 comments:

Mike @ Vitia said...

I'm happy to see you blogging again, and happy to hear things are edging back towards semi-normal. But holy smoke, I gotta say: SEVEN? Wow. Just wow.

Welcome back.

Sharon Gerald said...

Thanks, Mike. I've sort of been in a situation where there is so much to say there is nothing I can really say about it. And I wouldn't have time if I did know what to say. Just wanted to let people know I haven't abandoned my post. I'll be back.

Scott Rogers said...

Sharon: Glad to hear from you. How's the 'burg campus? I keep hearing $100 million in damage...is this accurate?

Sharon Gerald said...

Scott, I've heard the same figure, but I thought that was the coast campus. I haven't taken the grand tour, but it looks to me like the Hburg campus is pretty well cleaned up.

I took a drive down to Waveland Sunday. Words fail. I didn't even take pictures because I just lost heart. A picture couldn't take it in. There is simply nothing left to clean up.

Scott Rogers said...

OH! Someone asked me the other day...did Nick's survive?!

Sharon Gerald said...

I'm pretty sure Nick's will be the last thing left standing in the Burg after the bomb goes off and Jesus comes back. I haven't heard if anything happened to it. I think most things right along Hardy on that stretch are pretty well okay. The avenues, on the other hand, still looked like a bomb went off the last time I tried to take a short cut through there.

sharon said...

So glad to hear you are "semi"normal. What a rough time...I am struck by the photos I see here in the PNW... I can't imagine what is like to be standing there - but boy are we gald you are standing!

Rosa G. said...

Well, I'll pull out this post the next time a wave of unearned self- pity hits. Seven preps. And a college review coming up? Mugs of cybercoffee heading your way,
Joanna

TheDevilIsInTheDetails said...

For the next hurricane katrina pic ; the easy way to keep going.