Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Not My Circus

I've been hearing this saying lately, and I like it, "Not my circus, not my monkeys."  It's a good reminder that there are things we're responsible for (my monkeys), and bigger things we're responsible for (my circus), but in the grand scheme, there are things we're not responsible for.

Committee stuff is still shaking out.  I may end up a bit overwhelmed for the year.  I can deal with that.

I'm chairing one committee, that interdisciplinary program one.

I joined a campus task force on undergraduate research, because I want the humanities represented (and it looks like I'm the only humanities person).  We met yesterday, and it was a really good meeting, and I feel hopeful.  The leader is someone I respect a lot, and the other folks are smart, and have good ideas.  So I think we'll figure out some stuff that will help us and our students.

I may end up on the university senate.  If I do, then that will also involve a subcommittee.

And I'm on a very low service (meets once or twice a semester) university committee (that earns me points with at least one important person).

I'm on a departmental area committee. (In smaller areas, everyone in the area is always on their area committee; in lit, we rotate.  It's my turn.)

The area committee person who seems to be in charge, at least for now, sent out a note about figuring out meeting times, and sent out a doodle schedule link thingy.  I hate the doodle thingies, but I dutifully filled it out (I hope I did it right; does checking a box mean you can't meet then, or that you can?).  And noticed that the person with two afternoon courses and a course reassignment for research has marked off every single morning (at least, I think that's what the red means).

And there's one person who sent an email saying that he can only meet at these specific times, basically a one hour slot late in the afternoon.  Yes, exactly during the times that the other person has late afternoon classes.  And I read that email, and thought, "not my circus, not my monkeys," and was very glad it's not my responsibility to try to find a time that works for everyone.

I totally get wanting to block off time for research, reading, writing, and grading.  But it seems to me, given that we all teach a lot and have service obligations, we should work those blocks of time around our teaching and service commitments.

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