Writing Syllabi in the Summer

Although Labor Day isn’t for another seven days, for all intents and purposes, summer is over. I usually try to get my syllabi done in early August, but I haven’t been especially motivated lately, especially since I’ve taught these classes before. I didn’t start reviewing the syllabi until last week, and I even posted one for this semester’s Introduction to Electronic Media and that class that was ultimately cancelled on Friday.

After getting that bit of bad news, I lost whatever slim motivation I had developed last week. I took the weekend off and started reviewing my unfinished syllabi today. Since it’s a bit late in the game here, I did a little triage to figure out which classes to prioritize, and, in doing so, I figured out that I have a “soft landing” at the beginning of the semester.

Course College Start Date Enrollment
Introduction to Electronic Media Fordham University August 28[1] 3
Experimental Film Pratt Institute August 29 14
American Film Industry CUNY Queens College September 3[2] 9
Introduction to New Media Fordham University September 3 19
Media Technologies CUNY Queens College September 9 27

As you can see, my classes start over the course of three weeks. And with one already cancelled and one in danger of being cancelled, I start one class each of the next three weeks, giving me a bit of time in finishing each of these syllabi. It could get complicated if Queens College runs American Film Industry. The course had six students enrolled on Thursday, when I learned it was in danger of being cancelled, but it now has nine students. I’m not sure if that’s enough to spare the course. I haven’t heard anything yet, but I am not updating another syllabus only to have the class cancelled.

It’s not easy to write syllabi in the summer…especially when there might not even be a class.


  1. This class was cancelled on August 23, due to low enrollment.  ↩
  2. This class is in danger of being cancelled due to low enrollment.  ↩

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