This week was better than last, but still not ideal. I went to bed at ~1:30am on Thursday night in an effort to finish course prep so that I could have all of Friday (for the most part) to work on my 3rd year review that is due on Monday. While I got course prep done and was able to have the day for third year review work (which included working until ~9:30pm), staying up late, skipping dinner with the fam, and sitting hunched over a computer all day is really no way to live. As I look at the coming week and my ever growing to-do list I’m struck by the fact that there is really no possible way to get everything done (which I have to remind myself time and time again) and that academic life is just a perpetual cycle of triage. Why do we keep piling more and more and more on when we can’t handle what we already have? On the one hand, compiling my materials for my third year review made me think, wow, I accomplished a lot in my first 2.5 years. And on the other hand it made me exhausted! It feels good to get it done (I will send it out tomorrow morning) and also it feels quite anti-climatic (like most academic milestones), like, okay, onto the next thing.
This past week marks (hopefully) the end of day long obligations and travel for awhile. I had two days this week where I had search committee obligations all day. I used these two days to get all those little administrative things done in between meetings (like travel planning and random emails) that I’d been putting off, so that was helpful. We had a school wide retreat on Friday but I really could not afford an additional full day where I didn’t get to spend time on my third year review. It was either go to the retreat and likely work most of the weekend, or work all day Friday (and then some) and only put in a few hours this weekend. Most of my time this week was dedicated to my review along with online course prep (since the next week goes live every Friday afternoon).
This weekend was certainly better than last. We went to a preschool co-op open house and also did some socializing mixed with getting caught in a mini hail storm at the park and meeting a 6 week old puppy.
Another week has gone by where I got zero time in on research (in favor of my third year review, which is important), but I’d still like to actually spend time on the projects I’m “supposed” to be working on. I did answer a few research related emails, so that’s something!
Course prep (condensed research course): My goals for the week were to review class 3 content and figure out what needs to be updated from last year as well as update my agenda. Goal met? No. Given that I don’t teach until next Friday, I did not do this in favor of online course prep and 3rd year review.
Course prep (online research course): My goals for the week were to create/finalize/upload week 6 videos, do a final review of week 5 content before it went live, finalize week 6 content, post an update in the class announcements section, review and respond to discussion posts, post grades for first assignment. Goal met? Videos made, content reviewed, update posted, discussion posts reviewed, and grades for first assignment posted. I did not get around to finalizing week 6 content (it’s there, just in rough draft format), so really just one thing that didn’t get done.
Course prep (condensed stats class and online human dev class): My goal for the week was to do one piece of course prep for spring term for both of these classes. Goal met? No. Third year review took priority.
Advising: All the same administrative stuff that I did not do last week is still there, just waiting. It’s not that it’s difficult, it just takes time and logistical coordination and it’s more than I had the capacity to do this week.
service + admin
3rd year review: My goal for the week was to get to finalize all of my materials. Goal met? Done! I will send it off tomorrow morning! I did a lot of the organization piece during fall term, so this piece of it wasn’t too bad (just tedious). Most of my efforts went to writing my scholarly agenda and personal narrative. I spent about half the day on Wednesday and Thursday, and most of the day on Friday working on this.
Planning: My goal for the week was to plan for the upcoming week. Goal met? Sort of. I have Monday figured out and then my list for the rest of the week is ready to go, I just haven’t assigned days/times to them.
Conference travel planning: I have another conference coming up in the spring and had been putting off buying plane tickets and reserving my hotel room. Since Monday and Tuesday were quite fragmented with job search meetings, I used one of those meeting breaks to schedule my trip, felt good to get that done. I guess the one perk of a day with lots of meetings is that you can get random little things done in between those meetings that you normally wouldn’t want to take 15-20 minutes to do! .
Meetings: ✓job search candidate meetings (x2 full days) ✓PT appointment ✓online office hours, ✓lead instructor ind. meeting ✗school retreat ✓preschool open house, ✗olympic lifting
Workouts: I set aside my workout goals for moment because I just can’t seem to figure out how to get this in right now. I need a reset and to start off easy.
Toddler on the Tenure Track: Goal: Get 2 posts up on the blog. Goal met? Yes.
Meditation: Goal: 5 minutes every other day Goal met? No, but… I did meditate for 10 minutes 3 days this week, so it’s an improvement from last week
Budget: ✓Update budget… got a post in the works about our January budget