Step 63: Deal with New Year Pains

I am traveling to San Francisco for the week for my first (and only) real, go-away vacation of the summer. So I want to just briefly talk about some new academic year pains that I’m dealing with.

  • I will be teaching the intro CS course again, but neglected to reserve seats for incoming first-years. What I should have done when I realized this is to require instructor permission for new registration, but I didn’t do that either until last week. As a result, the course only has 3 out of 32 seats for new students. Given that this course has a relatively high workload and can be psychologically exhausting, I do want to be careful about overloading students new to college.
  • Completely separate from incoming students, there are also more existing students who want to take the course than there are seats. As I mentioned before the previous semester, it’s a good problem to have, but dealing with “waitlists” (which is not a thing at Oxy) and having to turn students down is getting annoying. Let’s just say that, with a little bit of luck, this will hopefully not be a problem I have to deal with next year.
  • The other course I’m (co-)teaching is Intro to Cognitive Science, which I co-taught both semesters last year. I do like the team teaching, especially since the faculty are from different disciplines. However, since we rotate faculty every year and faculty have the freedom to include their specialty interests in the syllabus, we have to rethink the schedule of the course at the end of every summer. This is my first time re-teaching the course, so I enjoyed discussing what worked and what should change, but whether we continue with this model or whether we impose more of a canon is an open question for the department.

I am also teaching a software engineering/practicum “independent study”, but although there is paperwork to get everything set up, the preparation so far has been smooth. I suppose I am also anticipating my first required committee service.

Other than that, full steam ahead to advising next week, then classes the week after!

Step 63: Deal with New Year Pains

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