EDWISE  - EDITOR AND EDUCATION CONSULTANT
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A Year of Living Positively-Day 240

It is a very dull day with heavy rain. I am in my office on campus and waiting out the rain. I have an umbrella but only canvass shoes, you see, so I'd rather wait to see if this downpour eases up before I attempt to walk home in it.

With S on his way to the Incheon airport, and all my reporting and photo uploading pretty much done, I had to return to my regular life today. I just had one business day left to input the syllabuses on the university's intranet system. As it can require getting some support, I preferred to do the work today, a Thursday before a holiday weekend, rather than take my chances doing it on my own over the weekend. Besides, it cannot be done from home. Indeed, I had to ask for a little help at first because the home page is different now. However, all the syllabus input is finished.

It was somewhat arduous a chore to input the data because one cannot simply copy from a file and paste directly into the system. No, it requires filling in boxes of forms, section by section. Therefore, I could only cut and paste small sections at a time. Trying to save time and labour, I experimented with the "copy" function, only to wipe out my original completed input for one course and mistakenly re-place it with a copy of an old syllabus that was put into the system last year. How was I to know? That is why I had to redo the first course input. Another issue is that one has to repeat the exact same input for the same course that has another time slot and therefore a different group number. Since I have three groups of the same course, or three classes taking the same course at different times during the week, the same syllabus had to be input three times. There appears to be no simple way to do it. I had to repeatedly copy small sections from the Word document and paste them into each section of the pre-formatted intranet syllabus data input pages. Gosh! A third issue is that one has to chart out the course work on a week-by-week timeline. The exam times being prescribed and always falling in the same weeks, and everyone knowing that, one still has to lay out which units will be studied, which tasks are to be completed and assignments handed in over the 16-week period. Yet, every student and teacher knows that the weekly plan will change because there are always adjustments; in fact, I don't think my students bother to follow the online syllabus. Rather, they wait for detailed verbal instructions and confirmation from the teacher. Few of them even keep the hard copy of the syllabus that is handed out at the start of the semester. Some students act so surprised when you remind them of an assignment due or upcoming quiz. Yes, syllabus input can be tedious. Even if you are well prepared with a copy of the syllabus worked out and fine tuned, it still is a labour intensive chore taking a minimum of two to three hours just to input it into the computerized system. This time, I spent around four hours doing it. Every year, the system changes a bit, so that one cannot just insert what has already been established in the previous syllabus or year. 

Well, I have been here for extra time waiting for the rain to subside but it has not. It is already after four o'clock. I will have to bite the bullet and leave. I will get home with soggy feet. At least I have an umbrella.

I should have gone grocery shopping. I have not done that since before the Peace Mission got under way on August 2. Now I am deterred by this heavy rain. I am resigned to eat spaghetti and prepared sauce. There are no fresh vegetables at home.


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