Thursday, March 08, 2007

Bullets of spring break

  • This week has been refreshingly full of social events and city-related activities, and I've managed to get some work done as well. Pretty much every day since I've been here has involved some kind of meal or event with people I haven't seen in quite a while - I'm reminded of another reason why it'll be exciting to be in New York come spring.
  • Although I've realized that I may have to mentally adjust my summer plans - moving on June 1 is starting to sound more and more rushed, given that my commitments in Philadelphia don't end until the third week of May. (These are singing-related commitments, rather than academic ones, but they'll still require me to be there a few days a week.) Since there's a strong possibility we'd be moving July 1, it looks like the first part of summer will involve apartment-hunting and trying to get the dissertation prospectus rolling.
  • This latter may be difficult, given that I'll be in the small NY apartment, with my books in boxes.
  • One of the exciting cultural activities was this Jeff Wall exhibit at MOMA. Wall takes enormous staged photographs that are mounted on lightboxes. They're located slightly beyond reality. Go, go, go.
  • In a few hours, I'll leave for a weekend in Massachusetts. I'm expecting lots of snow still on the ground; outlet mall shopping; cooking lasagna to keep warm; some TV watching; general hermit-like behavior.
  • Bonus bullet of still-in-the-middle-of-semester: I just got my midterm evaluations back from the writing program. They show definite improvement - last semester, my scores were pretty much average when compared to program-wide scores, and this semester, they've higher than both last semester's scores and this semester's averages! In particular, I think some changes I've made have really helped, including revamping the peer review system (major props to Bardiac for her suggestion a few months ago, which I pretty much coopted entirely), making sure students know what aspect of their writing we're working on each day in class, and more effectively pairing readings with writing assignments.
  • Student comments were also generally positive, with only one sighting of marked obliviousness ("I wish we had studied international [topic] instead of just American [topic]," when the first few weeks of the course featured [topic] in London, Dublin, and Paris.) Hooray!


luckybuzz said...

Your upcoming weekend sounds awesome--have a good time! (yum...lasagna....drool...)

Bardiac said...

I'm glad I was helpful! :)