This is supposed to be my “easy” semester. So why is my butt getting kicked?
Oh, let’s see. Seventy undergrads, instead of 35 undergrads plus 10 or so grads. Three independent-study students, with disjoint schedules, so I have to meet with each of them separately even when I need to impart the same information to them all. Hiring season, and while I’m not on the committee, we’re looking for people in areas that are very important to me, so I’m going to all the presentations. Disorganization on the part of the chair of a commitee I’m on, so I get to read heaps of stuff at the last minute. Organizing the conference that is almost upon us; and that won’t be over when it’s over, because we also have the proceedings volume to deal with. I do have various sorts of help with this, but that also means that much more communication to do. Convening an exam committee. Research. Grading and prep. Prep is usually not onerous, because I’m teaching a class I’ve done before and am happy with, but because of shifting paper due dates around (because of conferences etc), sometimes I need to throw together a lecture where in previous iterations I would have led discussion.
So I get home after nine hours on campus (plus 2 hours of driving and an hour or so at the gym), feeling that people have been chopping off little pieces of me all day.
I’m like that magical knight in the Book of Gareth, though: I regenerate. I’m getting loads done today (everything except the grading!), so I can go for another nine hours tomorrow.
And then I really won’t be able to avoid the grading. Where is the magical ointment for that?