Monday, November 18, 2013

in which stuff is pretty normal

Today I spent some time figuring out what we'll likely have to pay in childcare expenses next year.  This was not a good idea.  It's a miracle that any of us reproduce (and a good thing most of us don't look this far ahead).  Time to start looking forward to revisiting grad-student levels of financial stress, wheee!

Last week I miraculously met a paper deadline, mostly by ditching a few figures.  Revisions, right?  Right.  This week I am way behind on grading but it's nice to have a big project out of my hands for a little while.  Just a few more days, and then I can focus on a grant proposal and maybe think about my tenure file, or at least look at the list of what I'm supposed to put in it.

Every term I tell myself I'm not going to end up on this treadmill, where by the end I feel like I'm barely keeping myself from falling off; though, with this term, I should have known better than to think it would change significantly.  Counting down, it helps.  

Saturday, November 9, 2013


I can't tell whether it's just my students this term or something about my mental state, but I'm about to explode and we're not done yet.  Usually, it's not this bad, but over the past few days I've had to spend some time holding myself back from rude responses to the following requests (supplemented by my own frustrations):

- can you give me the email for Staff Member X, which is both available online and set up as an auto-entry in the school email system?
- can you tell me whether there are seats open in class Y, which I am perfectly capable of viewing on my own on the registrar's website?
- can you tell me again the answer to procedural question Z, which you have already answered at least eight times in class/on the board/on the syllabus?
-  can you tell me something that is very clearly written in the two lines of directions at the top of the worksheet that is currently in my hands?
- can you give me credit for late work despite the fact that your late policy on the syllabus clearly states that you would not take my late work under these specific conditions? 

I don't mind this kind of stuff at a minimal level, but it's a constant barrage these days.  I think the freshmen are in fact needier, but it seems like everyone is doing a shitty job of listening, even my upperclassmen.  Partner suggests that maybe I'm on a shorter rope this term - maybe.  Then again, I can't convince myself that it's just me.