Friday, October 08, 2010

An Endless Parade of Meetings

I love teaching. It takes lots of energy and preparation, but it's exhilarating to try to engage other people to learn stuff. And then there's grading, but asi est.

I like talking to students. In my cheesiness role, I do a lot of meeting with students individually, giving them initial advising about English majors and such, and getting them set up with a specific advisor for their studies. It's mostly good, though there's a lot to remember and keep in mind. And it takes a lot of time.

But then there are meetings. I feel like that past few days have been chock full of meetings for this and that in addition to all the other things. But when I look at my appointment book, there are only three four meetings that don't directly involve students. So why do I feel so tired of meetings?

I met with a representative of the program I'll be teaching for next fall. I was doubtful about this meeting. But it was wonderful; I learned a lot about the program and expectations and how things work and I'm even more excited about it. It made me realize how very little guidance I got from the program in Japan before I went.

I met with folks from the campus advising office, and once again, I learned about their rules and more rules, and then there are other rules. The thing is, for all these rules I'm supposed to keep track of, they might actually mean something for one or two students a year (in my cheesy position; I've had ONE student since I've been here for whom they mattered at all). There's this thing where if I say X, then X goes on some "books" and is so forever and ever until someone changes and says Y. That's sort of scary. I hope I don't need to say "X" about anything, ever.

I gave these folks some information about how our department works, and they seemed, well, less than interested. Clearly, this was supposed to be a one-way street, with them telling me, and I was just supposed to listen. But if they knew something about how we work, it might help them with the few students who want to do stuff with our department.

I had a regular committee meeting. I'm increasingly irritated by this committee, and its been building since I was elected for the committee. Basically, we rubber stamp administrative stuff. And the deanling, who is smart and knowledgible about stuff, and a decent person, gets frustrated quickly if anything moves beyond the rubber-stamping to real questions. And dog forbid anyone suggest anything ever change in a substantial way.

I have one more meeting today, and students, and then I get to turn my attention back to grading and preparing for my big group advising meeting next week. EEP!


  1. bleah. glad that some of the meetings are good and productive. but a few of the other kind can really suck the blood out of you, especially when you have so much else to do. institutional meetings where you have to be there, but being heard is frowned upon, are the very worst.

  2. Like you I have endless meetings, many of which are worthwhile. But I realized one day recently that I could never be an administrator because I would miss the students.

    I thought of you when I went out for a bike ride this morning!