Oh my goodness studying under a blanket! I’ll have to find a warmer country!
Actually the issue of study comfort is a big problem for me at the moment because my back is very bad and I can’t sit down. I am sad about this because I love to sit at my computer with a glass of red studying away. I am currently lying on my bed on my stomach with the computer on the floor off the end of the bed – that kind of works though my typing is a bit slow in this position.
Anyway – here is what I am up to:
My aim to finish both assignments before the semester starts was a complete fail. I haven’t actually started either of them and I think the semester starts next week. However, towards assignment 1 I have managed to read through 4 EdDs and begin to tabulate points about them. My 1st thoughts from this process is that an EdD can be easy or it can be hard. Obviously I want to go for as easy as possible. When I am reading them I am asking “what is the most parsimonious form of an EdD? I want to decide that and then pick my topic to suit.
Which brings me to the topic because I still don’t have one. Once again I am plagued by not really knowing where I will be when I collect data. Well I am not sure about that because I think it is possible that I could begin to collect data straight away. I will start a study for work (probably) and it seems like I can use that as part of my doctorate. I have to clear all these sort of questions up when I start officially. The main problem for me is that my employment in Oman is in doubt after this semester because the college has no students. I had thought that if we don’t get re-employed I would just go to the uni or the other college but it now seems unlikely we would be allowed to do this on our visas. For this reason I need to make sure that my topic is transportable. It will be a problem because in typical Omani style we are unlikely to know until the last minute and that could make it difficult then to find somewhere else.
The up side of the college having no students is that my teaching load is ridiculously light: just 4 1:40 min classes a week. I am going to team up with Ryan who is new to prep for the general English which account for 3/4 classes. We are also going to join our classes in the computer lab once a week, I already made Quizlet sets for all of the Headway at this level so really we will have little to do. They have a portfolio but I imagine the marking will be minimal. I think it will be more interesting for both us and the students if we combine our efforts – not to mention less prep for us. – I had only 1 student in class today so we are off to a flying start – poor dear, she has had a year off and forgot nobody comes for at least a week!
My other class is academic reading – the textbook looks boring as and I just have them once a week. Not sure how to spice that up. Flipped classroom seems obvious but our students don’t do HW. I am going to try to interest the other teachers in a Quizlet comp for HW just to get something happening out of class. Have to think of a good prize.
In our free time we are all supposed to have joined 2 special interest groups. I joined research and Foundation Writing. You see where I am going here…I figure if I frame it right from both ends I can just be doing my EdD and pretend I am working. I have proposed that I map the foundation writing learning outcomes to the task requirements in their degree subjects (other than English). The next step is to write a brief for the DOS and if she approves seek ethical approval. To be honest I don’t actually think we have a process for ethical approval but we’ll see.
I also had some interest for my proposed distance ed study group. We had 1 meeting where I just shared some experiences I have had with student groups and why I thought they were helpful then people introduced what they are studying. In our 2nd meeting we shared our thoughts and ideas about what we want from the group. We have a nice little group of 5 at this stage and we have decided to meet once a month at school. I would still like to see if I can interest anyone outside our dept and maybe even from other schools. However this may require a separate group as one of our members cannot spare any time outside of school hours.
The last thing to mention is that so far I have NEVER stuck to my study timetable. I am going to review it now in line with my new work hours and this week I WILL – inshallah. Probably need to tone down the social life a bit.