Friday, October 15, 2021

Treading Water

 I feel like I'm trying to swim up a swift river, and mostly treading water, barely staying in place rather than moving forward.  And then a wave comes and breaks up the analogy.

I need to do book orders.  I'm teaching Intro to Lit, which is lovely, but the rental system has dropped the textbook I'd been using (because it's so far out of print they can't even get used copies), so I need to use another that they have in stock.  It's also out of print, but our amazing admin assistant found me a used copy and that will do.


The other day a senior colleague with about as much teaching experience as I have stopped into my office to get my feedback on an event that happened in their class.  It's like when you sit in the Chair's office, people suddenly think you know a whole lot more than you actually do.  But I don't.  The colleague's handling of the situation seemed really smart and apt, so it should be ok.  Thank goodness.


There's one job that several of our contingent faculty folks are applying for, so I've been doing class visits and such, and wrote each a letter of recommendation.  I'm sort of proud of my letters because they're really positive for each of the candidates, and each focuses really well on what makes that candidate strong.  So each of the candidates has a strong, supportive letter from me, but the letters are different and don't feel at all boilerplate.  I don't feel any strong sense that one is better than the others, but that they're really good in different ways.

I've also given those candidates and another in a different department pretty extensive feedback on their application materials.  In one case, I've also looked at the revised materials, and I think the revision is massively better, so I feel good about the time that it took to give feedback.

It seems to me that the job of the letter is to get a candidate into the interview pool, and after that it's pretty much a new start.  A couple of colleagues have offered to help any of the candidates who gets an interview with a practice interview.  

I hate that there are so few jobs that our folks feel like they're competing directly.  But my fingers are crossed tightly that at least one gets the job.


There are things that I really should delegate, but the trouble of getting someone else to do the thing feels harder than actually doing the thing itself.  And so this weekend I'll be reading three masters theses (not from my department) and ranking them.


As I look at my calendar for next week, I realize that this week has been a relative breeze in comparison.  This basically means that I have to do a really good job prepping this weekend, because the week to come won't give me much free time to read, prep, or grade.  Last weekend I got caught up on grading, but now I have two small things to grade.  That won't take long, the the master's theses will more than make up for that.

1 comment:

  1. I'm with you: this week was impossible, but next week is so crowded with extra stuff that it goes beyond impossible. And then it's time to meet with all my advisees, on top of everything else. This part of the semester feels oppressively busy.