Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Piece of Me

I've got a full service line up this semester, as usual.

Personnel (which everyone with tenure is on in my dept)
Department Committee
College Committee (chair)
University Committee (not a hard one)
Internal Reviewer
Search Committee
MA Thesis advisor (there's no other way to count this)

And still, the requests and demands for service come.  At this point, it's mostly not committees, per se, but ad hoc stuff, or short term stuff, or just do this four or five hour task stuff; you get the idea.

Yesterday, I got a few requests (some were blanket requests to groups of people, some were individual):

Judge students' work thing
Come to a meeting to be a warm body
Be on one of two ad hoc committees
Another judge students' work thing (but very different)

Each of these things is important to the person who's asking for more service.  I know that.

I also know that there are people in my department (and elsewhere) who sit on a committee, do none of the work, and then complain about being on the committee loudly and often, and who don't get additional requests (because their committee work is crap when they do it).  And there are people in my department who basically teach the same courses over and over (it's not that they're lazy, necessarily, but that they have a creative writing workshop or intro to this or that subfield, and they do it in whatever way they've always done it, and that's probably fine).

And the same is true across the university; and in a lot of subjects, they basically teach the same basic classes without huge change, semester after semester.  (Maybe that's my imagining?  Maybe intro algebra changes radically?  Or intro chem?  But maybe they think the same about a Shakespeare class.  You only have 34-36 plays to choose from, right?  Add a few sonnets, and maybe RoL and easy peasy.)

Right now, I'm resentful of every single request for additional service stuff.

I need to go to the mall and measure my blood pressure.


  1. For what it's worth, I have a creative writing workshop, and I change it every semester. Add new readings, add new craft exercises, etc. Sometimes I change the books entirely.

    But it's certainly true that not all workshop teachers do that, and some don't use outside texts at all. You can be super-lazy about workshop if you want to be, or super-driven...

  2. Holy crap, you're busy! Good luck with all that!

  3. What Fie said. That is a hell of a lot of service. Wow.

  4. I hear you on the burdens of service. A student apologetically explained that instead of enrolling in the independent study project as we'd discussed, Stu would take the equivalent credits in another class. Stu thought I would be disappointed. I wanted to dance a Snoopy dance because, yay!, one less obligation on my over-booked agenda.

    Now excuse me while I hunt up students who'll serve on a thankless and likely draining university service committee along with little ol' me. (Don't worry, I'll be working more than they will!)