Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Not as bad as I thought it would be.

Just spent two hours on campus, talking to my former boss. I put off talking to him face to face for too long, I guess, but I wanted to make sure my anger was gone before going over there. Also, I knew he would ask me about the online courses I was taking, and I didn't want to have to admit that they weren't going very well. So, it took me awhile to go out to school.

It was okay, though. I rediscovered that Kirk is a nice guy. I just don't think he means to not follow through on his promises, he really doesn't recognize that he's jerking people around. We talked for two hours about the department and course requirements and construction methods and project manuals and trigonometry and machine design and a dozen other things, and I had a good time. It made me realize how starved I am for intellectual stimulation. I have fun at work, and on days when Jay isn't dropping fiberglass trays on my thumb, I'd even say I like my job. But it is good to be around people who share my interests and can hold a spontaneous conversation on a variety of related topics. It's just good to be able to talk about building/construction/design software/architecture and have the person on the other end of the dialogue know exactly what I was talking about. And Kirk and Tom both talk to me like a member of the team, not a student or semi-professional. I like them both as co-workers, and I guess I'd kind of forgotten about that with all the frustration I was feeling with the job itself.

They were also reassuring about my online courses, confirming my suspicions that the instructor teaching the courses is completely inadequate. I'm trying to just work through the homework and get it over with, but I lack motivation because the material isn't clear, I'm not getting any feedback, and I just don't see any point (other than to get it done so I can graduate). I finally sent a really pointed e-mail to my instructor, indicating that it was 8th week of class, and I had yet to get any assignments returned, and that had to change, and in reply I received the assignment back for one of the three classes that I turned in during week 2, with no other discussion of the matter, no other feedback. I know that sucks, but it was still nice to get independent verification of the fact. It was good to be validated, to hear that my expectations aren't unreasonable.

As we left it, I'll get in touch with Kirk when we know what Catherine's career plans are, which will hopefully be w/in the next month. He knows he has one course available to teach, with the possibility of anywhere between 1 and 4 other courses opening up. And as I was sitting there talking about some arcane Revit feature, I realized that even though I'm not particularly wild about teaching, not particularly thrilled about low pay for a lot of work, that I do want to work in my field. Is one course enough? No, we can't live on it, but maybe I can piece something else together if I need to.

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