Advice on two matters, one unrelated to BABIES.
Oh People of the Internet, share your wisdom with me!
1. As part of Operation Flail Around Helplessly in Pursuit of Childcare, we are looking into in-home care. (Edited to add: in MY home. As in, a nanny.) I’m doing my first interview next week. I suppose the purpose of such a meeting is really just to get a vibe. Would I trust this person with the thing that’s most precious to me on earth? I’m guessing it will be instantly clear–all I really need is a thin slice. But I should probably also have some, like, questions, just to pass the time. Any thoughts on what to ask? Any general advice? Besides staying home with her because it’s best? (Just a little shout out to Anonymous.)
2. I teach the same course every spring semester, and FUCK, the spring semester will be rolling around again soon. Last time an odd thing occurred: About 25% of the students got Ds or Fs. It’s never happened before–usually there’s one F at most. I’ve reviewed my behavior, my level of clarity about my expectations, the amount of feedback I provided, etc., and honestly don’t think I did anything radically different. The only difference I could think of was that I was pregnant. (Ooops, sorry, this was supposed to be unrelated to babies…) Did they think I was going to be a softie because I was all maternal or some shit? Despite the fact that I told them at the beginning that I am a hard ass when it comes to deadlines and grading? (And yes, I used the phrase hard ass.) ANYWAYS, my question for you is, what should I do this time around?
1. Change nothing.
2. Be meaner. Make it clear that I am really, really mean. I’m thinking something modeled on Professor Snape. Rely on extrinsic motivation.
3. Be nicer. Go all Dead Poet’s Society or something. Rely on intrinsic motivation.
4. Quit my job.
(Speaking of which, I met with a senior colleague who was on my tenure committee, and she was all you’re so awesome, you’re definitely getting tenure, and when I left her office, I thought OH FUCK. I know I’m a huge jerk to be so cavalier about a stable (beyond stable, really) job in these tough times, but hey, that’s what I thought.)