Administrative crap, Expectations, Student Expectations

Attendance Policy

  • We take attendance for EVERY class, except for the first week of school and otherwise noted. Attendance is 25% of your grade.
  • Excused absences are those that are documented through the Dean of Students office, and infectious sicknesses with documentation (like the flu).
  • Absences that can be made up (with some limitations) are school-related activities such as sports, debate team, etc, post-graduation job interviews, and grad school interviews.
  • These MUST be cleared in advance with me. You are responsible for finishing your makeup work before the end of the semester.
  • Unexcused absences include: work, sleeping in, mild illness, your computer dying, etc.
  • If you are absent 3 or fewer times during the semester, you will get a bonus of 8 attendance points at the end of the semester.
  • I do not take absences personally. You know how much time and energy you have vs. the demands of your life. Just don’t ask me to give you points for classes you did not attend.
  • If you have SSD accommodations that include absences, please make an appointment with me at the beginning of the semester and we will discuss options.
  • Ask permission, not forgiveness. I am much more likely to work with you if I know what your needs are in advance or as soon as possible.

Expectations, Student Expectations

For my repeat students and students taking multiple courses this semester: Please read

As you (meaning those of you who have taken my classes before) know, I have a variety of guest speakers present during the semester. Some of them you have seen before, and some of the presentations are the same. Some are not. Here is a list of presentations you can either skip if you saw them in a previous semester, or skip one of if you are taking two or more classes during the semester with the same presentation:

  • Center for Child Protection
  • Meg’s presentation on LBGTQ parenting
  • Seedling Mentors

You must notify me and the TA if you want to get attendance for the one you skip. Do this via email to the TA, and cc me. Here are the ones you can’t skip:

  • Blanton Museum
  • Dr. Reiz on attachment theory
  • All other scheduled presentations/guest speakers/instructors
Ethics, Expectations, Uncategorized

For when your profs insist you use a gendered pronoun:

NPR: Opinion: Even A Grammar Geezer Like Me Can Get Used To Gender Neutral Pronouns
Expectations, Student Expectations, Uncategorized

Summer 2019

I have office hours, usually in my office from 12:45-1:45 on Mondays, but contact me if you’re not in my class because I move around depending on the weather. I will be on campus daily until the end of the second week in July. I will be out of town from July 28-August 5. You can contact me for meetings via email or text.

Please note I will be doing a limited number of grad school recommendations in the Fall semester, so please contact me ASAP if you need one.

Leadership, Uncategorized, unsolicited advice

Big Questions and Medium Answers

I have a batch of student graduating and with that comes the existential dread of what adulting will be like. I usually ask my Ethics class to come up with questions for me to answer the last week of school. I’m going to post some of my better responses here for posterity.

Question: What is up with not being motivated? Can I make myself more motivated? (paraphrased)

Answer: Motivation is a big issue, and there’s no easy fix. I’ve been highly motivated to do lots of stuff in my life, and some of it worked out and some of it didn’t. I’ve also had motivation issues with really important things that I eventually trudged my way through.

I believe we have an inner voice (or a bunch of them) that guides us, but sometimes that voice gets drowned out by other stuff like an obligation, financial reality, the need to be accepted or admired, etc. Also, what makes life meaningful changes as we age.

If one topic keeps you really in the zone (interested, time passes quickly, challenges are exciting instead of daunting) and another makes you exhausted and miserable, you might explore the former. That said, I’ve endured some stuff I mostly hated (dissertation review, for example) to get where I wanted to be, but my overall goal got me through. I’ve also had the same activity be amazing in one context (school) and totally and utterly awful in another (running a business).

We are creatures of impulse, and sometimes too many impulses pull on us at once. Sometimes it helps to write down or visualize what we want and what the barriers are (and what we are spending time on instead). Try to do this with curiosity, rather than self-judgment or guilt. I’ve used mind maps, spreadsheets, and journaling to concretize my ideas – whatever worked at the time. I’ve also worked with coaches a few times and therapists a lot.

Finally,  I think the best decisions are when your heart, brain, and body are all on the same page (and this includes friends, partners, jobs, pretty much anything that has a big impact on your life)

Body – Do you feel energized and have stamina when you’re engaged with the activity (person, etc)? Do you feel balanced? Or do you feel wiped out? Do you end up relieving stress in ways that wear you out more? (staying up too late, drinking alcohol, or my personal favorite, too much coffee)

Mind – Does it make rational sense to pursue this avenue? What are the long and short term pros and cons?

Heart – Do you feel fulfilled, safe, joyful, peaceful, excited? Or fearful, angry, competitive, or insecure?

No career/person/etc is 100% perfect. I’ve had 4ish careers, and all of them had great things about them and suck things about them. It’s really about the balance. As a teacher, I have to fight really hard to carve out time for my family and physical/mental health (because of that 24-hour semester thing), and academic politics are just stupid. But in return, I get a lot of control, and the opportunity to be creative and to continually learn and improve. For me, teaching is a career that’s max on fulfilling and min on the suck parts.

That’s especially important for me because the combination of being a recovering perfectionist and a highly competitive person can really mess me up. Teaching, ultimately, is not about me so I can let go of the need to compare myself to others.  Someone will always think I’m amazing (even my first semester 8 years ago when I sucked) and someone will always think I’m totally lame (no matter how much other students like my classes). I find this strangely freeing. In some ways, it can be helpful to work against type. Make of that what you will. And watch Hannah Gadsby’s Ted Talk – she talks about this too.

Uncategorized

Help me find students for my summer class!

I’m teaching a six week summer version of HDF 340: Ethical, Philosophical, and Professional Issues during the first session. It focuses on personal and professional development and preparation with a large dose of applied leadership and ethics. It’s also fun.  Registration starts soonish. If you have enjoyed my classes, please consider taking it or recommending it to students who need it to fulfill a requirement or need an ethics flag. Many thanks!