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Thank You

Number two or so in my attempt to be more positive. Number one in what I expect to be a series of thank-you notes.

Today was not a good day. (Yeah, that’s a great way to start a positive essay. Way to go, Sam!) I was scheduled from 11am to 9pm. [1]
I planned the three hours in the morning for a bit of administrative work (say 8am to 9am) and two hours of class preparation or grading. But there was enough administrative work that I ended up doing administrative work from 8am until 11am. It wasn’t even pleasant administrative work.

If I spend three hours doing administrative work, and I’m booked the rest of the day, when am I supposed to get grading done? When am I supposed to get class prep done?

In addition, one of my online students dropped the course. I hate losing students. I hate not knowing why I lose students. Am I doing a bad job? (That’s usually my assumption.) Or is it that the class isn’t what they were expecting, or too much work, or ….?

Of course, a student dropping reinforced my frustration at not getting grading and class prep done.

TO make matters worse, I lost my temper last night. I hate losing my temper. I also spent much of the morning feeling like I was going to lose my temper at the stupid administrative issues. I hate feeling that way. I really hate feeling that way.

So it was not a good morning.

Right before 4:00 p.m., I headed off to my 4:00 p.m. meeting. I was halfway to the traditional meeting place before I realized that the meeting had been moved somewhere else, and I had no idea where. A quick check on my computer, and I found it had moved to the JRC [2], on the other side of campus. (Not that campus is that large, but ….)

So I walked into the JRC at 4:05 p.m., frustrated that I was going to be late to the meeting, frustrated that my morning permitted no class prep time, frustrated that a student had dropped. As I walked by the JRC welcome desk, the person there said something to me like I appreciate that you always seem so happy when you walk by.

I had not known that I always seem happy. But I usually see students I know and like [3] in the JRC, so maybe I just smile more there. And the comment reminded me that in spite of the frustrations, there are so many things I appreciate.

So thank you unnamed JRC welcome desk staff person. You made my day so much better. I wish I knew your name, and I apologize for not knowing.

My day also got better after that.

So thank you Sarah Purcell for inviting me to a nice dinner with the Rosenfield speakers.

And thank you beloved wife for taking my place at the evening theatre meeting, which allowed me to get a bit more work done.

[1] Convocation at 11am. Meeting with SEPC at noon. Class pep at 1pm. Class 2-4pm. Wilson Committee at 4pm. Reception and Dinner with Rosenfield speakers at 5:30 p.m. Play parents meeting at 7:00 p.m. Skype session with my online class at 8:30 p.m.

[2] The JRC is the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center. John Stone suggested we call it Joe’s Quarter, but the name never stuck.

[3] The phrase students I know and like may be redundant. I like almost every student I know.

Version 1.0 of 2016-09-08.