Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I suck at data entry

Today I enjoyed eating the oatmeal in the cafeteria--its shockingly good. The only good thing in the entire cafeteria. I did not enjoy grading. I'm much better at grading assignments that I actually created. Grading assignments that I would never, ever in my left or right mind create is frustrating and irritating.

A friend who is studying Sociology said that online teaching is the new ghetto for women in academia. She said this not because she was being judgmental, but because she'd attended some kind of a lecture or read an article about it. Anyway, it sounds about right to me. Online teaching is almost like data entry. Don't Hardt and Negri say something about data entry workers being the new proletariat, or something like that, in Empire? Teaching as data entry! Data entry sabotage!

I suck at data entry. I don't ever post the right percentage of comments. Sometimes I post too early or too late. I probably blab on and on in my feedback. However, I do manage to connect with some of my students, and some of my students manage to improve their writing skills. And the pay at the schools where I've settled is pretty good. It's comparable to what I made adjuncting in normal on-ground classes in DC. However, it's certainly not nearly as much as what I make adjuncting an on-ground class in California. Schools pay adjuncts at lot more out here.

Today I also enjoyed practicing yoga with my eyes closed. I've done sun salutations with my eyes closed, but never a full practice. I did a very nice headstand for six breaths and then fell over. I'm almost never physically afraid of anything in yoga, though I am probably afraid of looking like an idiot. I don't mind if I hurt my butt (or whatever) when I fall, I just want to look amazing doing it. I have no idea how I looked. But c'etait bon to not know.

Also, today in class I taught my students the word "swollen," because one of them is having trouble with allergies, and hence has a swollen eye. The French word for swollen is gonflé. I had a weird memory of a french advertisement for a kind of cake: "Vahiné c'est gonflé!" The last time I had thought of this was when I was living in Guangzhou and going to the French school. I believe that one of the boys decided to call the other girl in my class Vahiné, which was, of course, an insult. At the time, I was just glad that they weren't calling me Vahiné, and happy that I actually got the context of the insult.


jeannine said...

Interesting post about the online teaching. It's been nice for me to get my feet wet teaching this way, and since I came from ten years in IT (not to mention all the blogging) I don't mine the online part at all - though I do think online workshopping is way more time-consuming than in-person! I like working from home - I've been lucky enough to have several work-from-home gigs, and I like setting my own hours and not having to battle traffic, etc. The weird thing is, it kind of devalues things like good in-person human-interaction skills - which I think we both have! Anyway, I guess I've been focused on the benefits, but it does have that data-entry feeling around grading time.
I have noticed more women teaching online than men...the new pink collar job? Are women more excited to take less pay for more flexibility?

dasw said...

Very nice article. I have never thought before ther could be a teaching online.