About forty hours a week to be exact. (see what I did there? “about” to be “exact” – no?)
What’s great about having a job in terms of this oft abandoned blog is that I have fun work related things to blog about, but what’s not fun about it is by the time I get home I’m tired and mustering up enthusiasm to entertain a giant puppy.
I have no real complaints though, because after spending three years working to get my library credentials, I have them and now they’re paying me to do librarianing on a daily basis. How great is that? Today I had this moment, when I got home and set my purse down on the table and reached down to pet my dog – this, “Oh my god, I’m a grown up with a career. When did that happen?” moment. And, let me tell you, it’s all kinds of awesome.
I don’t know that I have any huge insights into the library world yet. I’ve learned a few things about myself. This week I had a group of undergraduate students, mostly first years, in the library classroom for the general intro to the library and its databases class. I’ve done a few of these now, well seven, I keep statistics, but the point is, this wasn’t my first time teaching this class, and I have been teaching undergrads in some way shape or form for about four years now. The sessions are 50 minutes long, held in the library, and their instructor is always there. On Monday, I had to threaten to separate two students because they wouldn’t stop talking. Dude. This is COLLEGE. Your instructor is ten feet from you. I am looking directly at you. Why are you unable to whisper or even stage whisper. Geez. I don’t care if you don’t want to learn. That’s your deal. I am not going to write off a student, and I will do whatever I can to help a student that asks for it or even those that aren’t really sure how to ask for it, but if you want to check your email on your phone during class, so be it. (I always find this hilarious though, because we give them netbooks, YOU CAN USE THE NETBOOK TO CHECK YOUR EMAIL RIGHT UP THERE ON THE TABLE THAT IS LESS OBVIOUS THAN DUCKING DOWN TO LOOK AT YOUR PHONE UNDER THE TABLE. Hilarious.) I know that sometimes you need to send or receive a text while in class, or check your email. Multi-tasking is built in to our culture, so even if you don’t “life or death” need to, we’re so used to being constantly connected that it could really feel like a life-or-death need. I tend to take a framer view and believe that your rights only extend so far as the person next to you. So you can prevent your own learning, but you will NOT disrupt my entire classroom.
I’ve been nervous about this. I’m about a decade older than my students, but don’t always look it, and try to be friendly, interactive, and not stuffy (academic casual). I wasn’t sure what would happen if I had to be a disciplinarian. I’m not afraid of being in charge, I’ve worked with small children a lot and had to reign them in countless times, but I’m physically bigger than them. If I’m telling a 20 year old guy who is 6 inches taller than me that he needs to stop disrupting my class, that can be intimidating (to me, not him). See, but I wasn’t intimidated. I looked at him, and asked him if I was going to have to separate them, right here, in a college class, and that seemed to do the trick. Then ten minutes later, from the other side of the room, chatter, and I didn’t want to stop again, to talk to another student that felt like admitting defeat to the class, so I just locked eyes on that kid and stared directly at him for an incredibly uncomfortable amount of time, and kept talking to the class normally. I even pointed at the board, while looking directly at the kid, and it worked, and frankly, it was kind of funny. I don’t want to be a huge power tripper, and I try to prevent this kind of behavior by constantly moving around the room, looking each student in the eye, and trying to find ways for them to participate, but it’s good to know, that if I have to, I can be the bad guy.