Midterm Burn Out

I remember midterms from college. I know they were stressful, and may have pulled a couple all nighters. Still, I think midterms stress me out more now.

I work for a community college. Actually, I am the Coordinator for the Assessment Center. That means that students in Distance Education classes take their proctored midterms with us. That means working extra hours, figuring out our staffing, securing second rooms and all the other general planning. I'll put in at least 50 hours during midterm week. Typically it is more like 60 hours.

This semester is our first semester to require appointments. The students have to m. ake their appointment online. The way the software is set up, we cannot make it for them. We've emails students this information, but they still think they can just call or e-mail and we can help...but we can't.

That is just the tip of this semester's iceberg.

1)We set appointments based off of last year's numbers. So we have to adapt the appointment slots as needed. Like we had more 3 hour tests than we expected, so we added more. More students are waiting until the end of the week to test, so we used less M-W appointments, and we can't make enough Friday and Saturday times.
2) Our other campus didn't make enough appointment slots, so their students sucked up a bunch of ours.
3) We had a slight scheduling SNAFU with the library. We were able to fix it, but I had to lose a few of our early morning appointments.
4) Due mainly to points 1 and 2, we are probably out of Saturday spots, and I am stuck on what I should do. I have 2 rooms running at full capacity for the 4 hours we are open. I had more than enough slots for our students, but our situation changed. Short of cloning the staff and finding a open computer lab, our hands are tied.
5) Despite e-mail and it being on the website, students aren't planning.

Bottom Line: It is a new process. There will be hiccups. We will make mistakes. We will have messes to clean up. Going to appointment only is the only way we can continue to grow and better serve the students.

There will always be growing pains. All we can do is be flexible and learn from the challenges we face. By Fall Term, everything should be in place.

The downside: The Midterm Burn out is accelerated this term. I've put in 30+ hours already, and I'm showing signs of brain deadness already.

Tuesday a student called saying her appointment had been cancelled. Based on what she told me, I was very confused. Her appointment was still there. I called her back and tried to sort the situation out. While I was trying to figure out where things went wrong, the student kept talking at a crazy fast clip. Like talking faster than I do clip. Somehow in all of this I missed something she said...which infuriated her. She started yelling at me. My brain fry was already setting in...on a Tuesday.  She had a right to be annoyed. I hadn't listened. Yes, she had the story all wrong and had set up 2 different account and had the story all wrong, but I should have facilitiated the call better. I normally would have. My lame excuses: I was exhausted and was losing my ability to multitask.

Today, I came home to blog and had zero focus. At one point I stepped away and decided to read up on articles on Cracked. Yeah I got the www typed in and then I went blank. I had *no* idea what I was doing.

Thursday is a 12+ hour day, Friday 10+ and Saturday 6ish, followed by a nail appointment and Indy Idol. I may sleep all day Sunday before returning to the coal mines Monday.


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