#DayofHigherEd

I'll be updating this page throughout the day, April 2, 2011, the first ever Day of Higher Ed, where we write exactly what it is we do in higher education. You can read the piece I wrote over at IHE explaining the day.

My day starts at 8 AM. I check the #dayofhighered Twitter stream. I am a late-starter. But, then again, I could make the argument that I was still working when the clock struck midnight and April 2 officially began. I work late and (thankfully) my kids let me sleep in a little. Answer some emails, get out of bed, get the kids ready for school.

Usually on Mondays, I go and work out with a colleague. She's slammed with work right now, so I'll take the time to prep a little more for my class while enjoying my coffee (rather than slamming it back like a shot of tequila on Spring Break). Time to work out, you say? What a life of leisure you must lead! I learned my lesson last year that I need to take care of myself, lest I end up sick and in the hospital with a migraine that literally renders me speechless.

That reminds me, I'm still paying for that trip to the emergency room. So much for my gold-plated publicly funded health care. I will probably end up spending an hour on the phone with my insurance company trying to figure out why I don't have my health savings account card yet, as they once again changed out plan. I hate hold music...

It is now 12:45 and I am finally sitting down for lunch. Between being on the phone (unsuccessfully) with the insurance company and a plumbing emergency, I didn't have time this morning to shower or eat a full breakfast. My coffee was consumed at a fast rate, as per usual. Best laid plans, etc.

My first class of the day, we discussed the current narratives and rhetoric surrounding Autism and Autism awareness, getting into how these narratives impact how research money is spent, as well as how people with Autism are treated more generally. This topic hit home for a lot of my students. Seems that everyone does, in fact, know and love someone with Autism. Made keeping the discussion on track difficult, but I think the students began to see how their perceptions of Autism have been shaped by popular discourse.

My second class was thrown into disarray because the student who was supposed to present today is in the hospital. We instead talked about the purpose and role of college sports (in light of tonight's basketball game which most people in our State care deeply about). Issues of identity, capitalism, accessibility, and ethics came up. They have a blog post to write about the topic by Friday. Hopefully, today's discussion will lead to some interesting posts.

I was eating lunch while typing this. Back to the grind.

It's 2PM. I keep getting distracted by this health insurance thing. I have to get it taken care of, but it's a pain. Apparently HR didn't set up a health savings account for me, so now that has to get done even though it was supposed to be done on January 1 when they inexplicably changed how they worked (my husband and I both work here, so we had a joint account which we don't anymore). But I think it might finally be fixed.

I dealt with some emails from teachers in the Dual-Enrollment program we have here. I mentor area high school teachers who are teaching for-credit English classes there. We have our common assessments coming up, along with final exams, so requirements need to be articulated and clarified, explained and re-explained. I enjoy doing it, but it does take up a lot of time on some days.

I was going to either grade or try to finally finish writing the introduction to the collection of essays I am editing. But instead, because I got an email recalling a book I need, I will spend the afternoon scanning said book in 600 dpi for my (eventual) digital project (which I describe here).This is the sexy work of academia; the tedious work of research that most of us don't have RA's or TA's to do for us. I'm going to spend the next two hours fighting with a scanner.

(Note to self: read this on copyright later.)

Yes, I work at a job where I can be home to make dinner at 4:30. I am fortunate enough that I live in a place where it is affordable to live adjacent to campus, making my commute a brief and pleasant walk. But after I put the water on the boil, I am back at work, answering emails, reading, and writing.

I was fortunate that I had other ILL books waiting for me at the library when I arrived to return my newly-scanned recalled book. I am browsing Archival Narratives in Canada, looking forward to reading it tonight with basketball on in the background. Also got me some Archive Fever, because what Day of Higher Ed would be complete for a humanist without some Derrida?

I want desperately to comment on some of the backlash going on in the comments of my original #dayofhighered post, but I have to run and pick up my kids. Perhaps later, after dinner, after bedtime. Or maybe I won't because I am too busy geeking out over archives (this, by the way, is in the name of revising my PhD for submission to an academic publisher).

It's now 10PM. The basketball game is on. I've given up on working for the day. My brain is fried. Today has been overwhelming. I don't know what it will look like when the final count is done tomorrow morning, but there were 500 tweets at 9:30 AM. I don't want to do a final count until tomorrow morning when everyone on the West Coast has finally gone to bed for the night.

Between dinner and now, I hung out with the kids, browsed my "new" books, thought about poetry, and generally talked about university politics and policy. I think as soon as I sat down on the couch at 6 PM, my body and brain shut down. So I've been leisurely reading blog posts and other news stories related to higher ed from today. I am already also mentally preparing myself for tomorrow, and the very real possibility that less than half of my students will have done their homework.

I'll be awake until the game is over. But I'm done with my day as it relates to my job. Goodnight. And thank you.

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