Tuesday, January 4, 2011

This Will Be A Busy Semester

Along with teaching U.S. History to 1877 again, I have just had Western Civ sprung on me with two weeks notice.  This is what is called a "double section" which means almost three times as many students as a normal section, but twice the pay.  The work load, I suspect, will be about twice a normal section, since the preparation and lecture time is the same; what goes up with the increase in students in grading of papers.  In a survey class like this, that is mostly multiple choice exams, plus a couple of papers per student.

I have to do a bit of revising of the lecture notes from the last time I taught Western Civ because we have changed textbooks.  Overall, I think I like the new textbook better, because it puts more emphasis on Rome and less on the Fertile Crescent--and Rome is far more important to modern Western Civ than the Fertile Crescent (although both matter).  My one irritation with the new text is that it uses BCE/CE rather than BC/AD--and of course, since the vast majority of Americans are unfamiliar with BCE/CE, that means that they have to burn several pages explaining and justifying this change in terminology that will confuse some students and annoy others for its transparent political purpose.  My reaction to the department chair concerning this was, "unplusgood--not doubleplusungood." 

I am going to be very busy this semester, I think.

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