It seemed like a good idea at the time

Back when the world was normal – and don’t ever say “new normal” in my presence, or I will cast you out of my life so fast your new normal will be to spend every day in tears of sorrow at my absence – my department chair decided to change the accounting curriculum. We’ll be going from one 16 week class to two 8 week classes, essentially breaking Accounting 101 in half. It’s worked well for math classes, where students did well for the first half of the semester, fell hopelessly behind the second half and failed the entire course miserably. Breaking it in half allowed them to still fail miserably the second half but only have to repeat that half and not the first part, which saves them money and makes them more willing to give it another shot.

Great idea. Since it’s such a great idea, let’s also change the text! Well, the one we were using was a pretty good book but the website was a nightmare that gave us issues every single semester, to the point where I opened my classes a week early to give the students time to get registered before the inevitable overwhelming of the system the first week of school.

The IIC (Idiots In Charge) decided to go with an OER (Open Educational Resource.) Didn’t know that academia has as many alphabet thingies as the Feds, did you? Well, we do. We like to think it makes us special when no one knows what the heck we mean. We also like to tell people to “just effin google it!”

This lovely text has only been made available within the last couple of weeks, and then only as an e-text. I am not 21. My body feels like I’m 91, especially on days like today when Maverick has felt it necessary to drag me to every bush at the park. And under trees. But I digress. I love to read on my Kindle, I am not averse to electronic books at all, but when it’s a text book, I need to hold it in my hands, mark it up, highlight it, stick cute little sticky notes on the pages, and just totally make it my bitch*.

I asked for a physical copy. Nope, sorry, can’t do it, not happening. Yeah, I don’t think so. I don’t do well with being told no. I found a website that will print OER’s for a reasonable price so I ordered a copy and a week later, had it in my hands.

Building an online class is not something that happens overnight. I have one month before classes start. I’ve read the book and started creating slides and I am totally overwhelmed with the amount of work that needs to be done to get this in any form that will actually be beneficial to the students.

And I don’t have any motivation. I would much rather be quilting. Sigh. Back to the grindstone. Pray for me.

*(The last time I heard that expression was from a student who was telling me about her little dog making her big dog its bitch. She regretted telling me that when she dragged me before the Dean later. Long story, perhaps I’ll share it sometime)

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15 Responses to It seemed like a good idea at the time

  1. Bitey Dog says:

    Ooh, now I want to hear the long story!
    It sounds like my learning style is similar to mine, and e-books do not suit the way I cobble information together. Out of curiosity, does the e-book style of teaching work for anyone? For most?
    Aw, skip the whole mess and go make a quilt. At least then someone will appreciate your labor.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Honestly, the e-book learning does NOT work and multiple studies have been done that prove this. I mentioned this when I requested that a print version be made available to the students but it fell on deaf ears.

      Like

  2. I’m right there with you on the terms “new normal”. I judge people who use it in any sort of a serious way.
    An eon ago when I was in college I had a statistics professor who taught from his book that hadn’t yet been published and the students used the old book that he hated but the department required. He was a fantastic professor.
    Good luck getting ready for teaching:)

    Like

  3. ekurie says:

    People should not assume all teachers are lazy. Ever.

    Like

    • It’s all I can do to not reply to some stuff I’m seeing about how teachers just don’t want schools to open because they don’t want to work. It’s way more work to do it online!

      Like

      • Kristi says:

        It’s a lot more work!!! And I think some of these people are saying ‘teachers are lazy’ because they don’t want to do the job themselves with their own children. Hmmm… 😉

        Like

      • I actually saw where someone said, “I didn’t plan on being a parent 24/7!” Umm, yeah, you kinda did. I know what they meant, but seriously, you had the kid, now take of it.

        Like

  4. Kristi says:

    Miss Suzie…I think our ‘new normal’ (I’m sorry…I hate it too!!!) is having non-teaching higher-ups telling us what is best for OUR students even though we have taught for decades and many of them have never been in front of a class. BUT, this makes sense! After all, I feel very comfortable going into surgery and telling the doc to speed it up a bit…just ’cause I know best!! Let’s ditch this semester and we’ll quilt together and propagate some succulents. 😍😍😍

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am so good at propagating things! Or is that fomenting when you cause trouble? 🙂 I am actually growing mint plants right now – well, not this moment, but you know – in pots and one of my friends is giving me a dehydrator so I can have mint all year long.
      My college is going through a mess right now, several million dollars in debt and a president who doesn’t work with faculty but claims he does. I want to run away and join the circus!

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  5. Bitey Dog says:

    Since reading your post, you have me curious about these math and accounting classes. What percent of students fail the second half of the classes? If the failures are expected, is there a way to change the course so that they don’t fail? Is there a way to anticipate who is at greatest risk of failing? Not that I am asking from personal experience or anything…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I teach at a community college so our students tend to be older, some have families, some have jobs, most have a lot more going on than your typical college student. Especially in the Fall, with heat bills, and holidays, life can be overwhelming enough without the added stress of a difficult college course. Breaking the courses into two parts will help with that for a lot of students – they can take the first part, and then take a break if needed.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I will pray for you.
    I can’t even imagine how difficult all of this is these days. 😦
    Sending best wishes, too.
    (((HUGS)))

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Now, now. In these challenging times, we must all pull together to face the new normal and overcome adversity. Did I get all the buzzwords right? Now I want to hear about you getting your righteous bitch on.

    Liked by 1 person

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