Field of Science

The semester begins when!?

TPP suffers from a day-date disconnect that only gets when complicated by holidays.  Having operated on a M-F schedule for so many decades, it is hard to think in other terms, and things like dates don't matter much.  Here is how it doesn't work.  OK, having checked with Mrs. Phactor that today is a Friday, TPP proceeds to get lost in various activities.  This means that while well aware that the semester begins on January 14, it comes as rather a surprise that that is this coming Monday, according to the dept secretaries who remind faculty of such things.  Things also get out of whack when a day off makes the next day seem like a Monday, and the M-F schedule resets automatically.  Now is not the time to panic; no matter what, the students will still be less well prepared than the faculty.  So on Monday, the first day of class, some students won't be present.  "Didn't figure you'd cover anything too important."  Yeah, we'll go over the syllabus, the whole plan for the course, the lab, the lab portfolios, exams, grading, and all the rest, so they'll be lost later, and will actually take offense when they ask questions later if you point out that they missed that material by figuring you wouldn't cover anything important, and the reason why would be that too many students would be absent.  If TPP stayed away until the class was ready to start, you know when they all agreed it was time to get going, how long would it be until they came and got me?  Best not try that experiment. My philosophy is that if the material is covered once in class, clearly, with supporting documentation, my duty has been fulfilled, and now the responsibility rests with the student, strike that, young adult!  Who wants to be a nag?   None of this matters because each semester starts with a sense of anticipation, a positive feeling, and good intentions.  Now what needs to be done!  Panic!

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