Sunday, May 12, 2013

Batteries Not Included

It is the end of the semester, and I suspect a lot of ASP'ers are looking forward to a lull in the hectic pace of ASP work.  Some folks will have more of a hiatus than others because of low or no summer enrollments.  A few folks are on 9- or 10-month contracts with the summer off.  And those ASP'ers deeply involved with bar studiers will have a short lull.

Whether you are a one-person ASP operation or have a team and whether you have 50 invited ASP students or all law students as your target population, I imagine that you are ready for a change of pace.  The last part of the semester is always fraught with students overwhelmed by exams, students confronted by personal crises, graduates gearing up for the bar exam, and a myriad of important deadlines.  For those of us who teach ASP or other courses, we are/will be inundated with papers/exams to grade. 

I love the lull because I get to do two critical things: complete lots of projects and recharge my batteries.  In the age of portable electronic devices that get recharged nightly, I sometimes wish that I came with a battery as well.  Since I do not come equipped, here is a list of my favorite recharging activities both in and out of the office:

  • Attend a summer conference with other ASP'ers to get new ideas, renew old friendships, meet new ASP'ers, and remind myself how much I love my work - we are so lucky to have AASE at the end of the month!
  • Find a new book by an ASP'er in the publishers' catalogs and delve into new perspectives on student learning, legal reasoning, or other facets of our work.
  • Chat with faculty and other colleagues at my school to find out what they are working on this summer, to brainstorm ideas as to how we might work together next year, and to reconnect after we have all been so busy all year.
  • Revamp at least one aspect of my program for a fresh perspective: a training manual, workshop packets, my ASP group exercises, a selection process for upper-division students who work in ASP, a Power Point presentation.
  • Read through my collection of thank you notes from students to remind myself of the impact that ASP work has.
  • Spend more time with friends and family now that overtime hours and evening events will lessen.
  • Sleep in on some Saturday mornings to recharge quite literally.
  • Indulge in fluff novels that have nothing to do with the law - no John Grisham for me.
  • Catch up on all the movies that I have missed and summer releases.

What are your favorite ways to recharge?  I wish all ASP'ers good ends to the semester and blessed summer months.  (Amy Jarmon) 

 

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