Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Taking a Breather

Back in San Pedro, and as usual I am keeping busy during the day while Ted's at work -- busy, busy, busy with my own work. I never seem to be entirely free when here...was there ever a time when I could simply sit and "create"? But who ever has such freedom? Anyway, my head is buzzing and achy from putting together my summer online creative writing class, which starts July 6. My first ever all-online class, and I'm very uneasy about it. To help me prep, I'm enrolled in UMF's "Intensive Course Development" class, an eight-week boot camp I took once before, about four years ago, but I swear this is as if I'd never done it...a new version of Blackboard is kicking in, and I'm feeling stretched to the limit technically speaking.

I've made it into Week Five...every day requiring more reading, more posting, more fighting with Blackboard. Safari doesn't like it and it keeps booting me off. Maybe I'll download Firefox finally which is supposed to work better -- it's all fight, fight, fight with various systems most of which I only minimally understand. Trial and error, cussing, making it work...I've been a noisy complainer about all this on the ICD discussion board -- so loudly yesterday I finally felt the need to apologize.

The requirements for clear "learning objectives" has been a rigorous exercise for my left brain, while my right brain is chomping at the bit to invest the class with the "fun stuff." Yet to make the "fun stuff" work online, I'm having to wrangle with set-up -- endlessly detailed, front-loaded...I wish I knew HTML other than my little bits and pieces of it, carried over from this blog, actually. The ICD teachers, headed by a terse math Ph.D., are relentless about "outcomes." This consciousness, this conscious insistence on knowing what we are about, what we want our students to do, how to set up and measure "mastery," is at the heart of responsible teaching, of course.

But it's making my head hurt.

I just want to sit here looking out at the harbor, where the morning's cool marine layer hasn't yet lifted, and watch a barge slide into the harbor. I know I've got a poem in me somewhere. Some new poem waiting to be written. With only a gray legal pad and a pen. Not HTML. No power source. Just paper, pen, and my wandering, restless mind.

1 comment:

The Cat Bastet said...

Safari really DOES hate Blackboard. Save your sanity and download Firefox.