Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Being a (Retired) Information Systems Professor?

Somehow that doesn't have much of a ring to it, does it?

But as of next Thursday, August 31, 2017, that's what I'll be--a retired information systems professor.

I have been working almost without a break since December 22, 1969. That was my first day as an actuarial trainee at The Home Insurance Company at 59 Maiden Lane (The company has since been liquidated).

I reflected on that first day in a keynote talk I gave at Pace University's Faculty Institute this past spring.

I am somewhat stunned to realize that I have taught at Pace for 32 years; I joined the faculty in January of 1985.

I've spent nearly 70% of my 47-year career at Pace. I've been a college professor twice as long as I was anything else.

Once a college professor, always a college professor, I guess.

So I'm not changing the name of this blog, I'll just keep on keeping on and see what happens next!

Monday, August 8, 2016

It's August.....already?

So here I am, on August 8, starting to plan for the new semester, which will be my last one as a full-time (well, full-time sort of, part-time/full-time) professor. Retirement, here I come! I met today with Rob Mundy, a professor of English and director of the Writing Enhanced Course program.  So I'm starting to think about syllabi, books, assignments, stuff like that.
Whiteboard class notes

And next week I'll be in my office, going through registrations and finding my way back.
I'm guessing that for me, in a way, summer is over. What about you?

Saturday, September 26, 2015

What week is this? What day is this?

So now that the semester has begun, I teach a least one class each day, Monday through Thursday. The calendar this year has been very strange.
First, because Labor Day was so late we started classes on Wednesday, September 2. I can only remember starting classes before Labor Day once before (and I have no memory of what year it was, only that I was still a doctoral student, so we're talking late 90's).
Second, the first Monday was a Labor Day, so Monday classes met on Friday of the first week of school. Since I teach two classes that meet twice a week on Monday and Wednesday, the first week of school I taught Wednesday, Thursday (my regularly scheduled Thursday class) and Friday.
The week of Labor Day I taught on Tuesday (my regularly scheduled Tuesday class), Wednesday and Thursday. Okay, now let's go to the week of September 14, the week after Labor Day.  Monday was Rosh Hashanah and we didn't have classes. So I taught Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday again.  And that brings us to the week that just ended-Wednesday was Yom Kippur. So I taught Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.
Next week will be my first "normal" week. Although who even knows what "normal" is anymore?
What about you? How has your college/university adapted to a late Labor Day and (somewhat) early High Holidays?

Monday, September 7, 2015

A new semester begins!

Before Labor Day, no less. But we all got through it, my students are wonderful, and I'm glad to be back.
I'll be experimenting with Poll Everywhere and I'm pretty excited about that.
And I'm teaching three learning communities; two with a business course, same professor, and one with an economics course.
So it will be a busy semester, in this, the fall semester of my penultimate year of teaching.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Did someone say "snow day?"

It's not just the students who enjoy snow days-I am happy that the weather changed my plans today.
I was going to drive into the city to get my hair cut. 

Instead, I'll stay at home, finish marking the last of my final exams (given a week early so that we can use the time scheduled for the final for final project presentations) and put up the Christmas tree.

And the best part is that today is a "study day" which means that the snow hasn't interfered at all with classes or final exams, which is perfect.

Here's what my driveway looks like at 8:15 AM-and it's been snowing for about 45 minutes.
Looks like we might get the three inches Brysen Van Eck promised!

So, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Monday, September 2, 2013

The beginning of the new school year

At Pace University, as I imagine at many universities across the country, we begin our fall semester and our new academic year this week.  Tomorrow we celebrate with convocation, a coming together of students and faculty to set the tone for the academic year ahead.

And classes begin on Wednesday, which is fitting in a way, since Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year of 5773, begins at sundown on Wednesday.

For so many of us, the year begins in September.  Here in the Northeastern United States the weather starts getting crisper, the days shorter, and our clothes heavier.  I start thinking about sweaters and getting up in the dark and being indoors more often.

And teaching, and faculty meetings, and hours in front of the computer. 

Welcome back, everyone!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Ah yes, a life geared to the academic calendar.

I survived the spring semester, my first teaching semester in four and one half years.  I forgot 1) how much work teaching is and 2) how much I love it (the work and the teaching).

And now the summer.  My "to do" list is incredibly long.  In addition to taking two courses towards my education to become a Commissioned Ruling Elder in the Presbyterian Church, USA (more about that here) I'm taking fiddle lessons AND I promised myself that this would be the summer that I finally got my website up.  So I'm taking a class from Tom Antion on-line that will teach me how to use Wordpress.

Oh, and I'm going to learn Evernote, and I'm taking Meggin McIntosh's Workshop Business 101 four month course to get myself set up to deliver workshops.

You should see the piles of books in my office at home.  In fact, you are seeing the piles of books. 
They are arranged into meaningful piles, but perhaps only for me.  There's the meditation pile, the workshop 101 pile, the CIS 101 pile (did I mention that another summer project is reworking our gen ed computing course, the one that every student has to take and hates?).

They are piled on the floor because there is no room in the bookcases, which leads me to another (perpetual) project which is to CLEAN UP THIS OFFICE!  Sorry, I didn't mean to shout.

Hope everyone is enjoying the summer-time to go back to whatever important thing it was that I was doing.