work good – study not so

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.

IMG_1616The 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.





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