What I did yesterday
- Finished the survey syllabus and roughed out about 80% of the assignments and due dates
- wrote a new assignment sheet. I'm going from requiring students to keep a journal of notes on their primary source readings to a series of four writing assignments. The first is very basic: 300-500 words that identify the particulars of a document and give three specific examples of evidence that would be useful to a historian, written in a general, "the document says X, which tells us Y" way. Still have to do the other three, which will be increasingly complex; the final essay will be still fairly short, but will require the students to look at 3-4 documents, identify a thesis that a historian could derive from them, and then argue the thesis. I really hope this works.
- finished up the two conference requests, sort of. It will be interesting, because we are supposed to get requests in by Jan 15, but the K'zoo details don't come out till Feb.
- went to a large and cool zoo, and saw ... many exotic animals, but not enough for me. But it's a very big zoo, and three hours was enough for two 8 year-olds and a 4 year-old (who ended up riding on my shoulders for the last half mile or so). I need to go back and see more large mammals. I'm kind of iffy on zoos ... I just keep hoping that the animals whose freedom is sacrificed are giving that freedom (willingly or no) to engender a desire in zoo visitors to help protect them and their habitats. I never feel that way about the bugs, though. Did I mention there were otters, too?
Got to go and write my 'upper division class in my minor field' syllabus now. If I don't get these into the copy shop this afternoon, I'm screwed.
Also, did anyone notice that the POTUS was having a 'non-decisional' meeting at his ranch yesterday? Is that a real word? (And do I mean locative, rather than locational, above?)