No more homework

January 12, 2012, 11:52 pm

When I was a faculty member, I had no real set schedule other than classes and occasional office hours. (Yeah, I was one of those “office hours by appointment” kind of girls.) I usually worked at home 2-3 days a week, and I worked at night and on the weekend as needed. During the work week, I also sometimes watched “Primetime in the daytime” on TV, went to afternoon movies, had lunch with the gf, and took trips out of town. I worked a lot, producing articles, presentations, class preparations, committee work, etc., but all of that got done around my own schedule. The girlfriend was used to this work style, as she had grown accustomed to it during my grad school years.

In my first faculty/admin job, I spent more time in the office, usually 3-4 days a week, but I didn’t keep 9-5 kind of hours. I would get in between 10-11 and often left by 3 or so. I also felt free to work at home as needed. I worked at night and on the weekend on research and special projects, including blog posts.

My new job, however, has really changed my patterns. I am expected to be at work every day from 9-5, though I sometimes come in/leave a little later. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to do much research and writing during the work day, even blog posts. The only thing I have managed to do during the work day is prep for class and grade papers, and I have to put that on my damn calendar.

Working all day, every day, leaves me a little burnt out at night. When I come home, I need to pay attention to the gf, relax, and catch up on current events. I don’t want to work at night, nor do I want to work on the weekend. So, I don’t.  So, the rate of blog entries have slowed considerably and my research agenda is floundering stagnant. I feel guilty about the blog and kind of bummed about my research.

I keep hoping that I will get used to the pace of my new work life and not be so tired at the end of the day. I hope, but it isn’t happening. It has been six months, and I am still braindead at the end of the work day and resistant to the idea of spending any more time on anything work-related. And while I used to go to sleep around midnight, I am now rubbing my eyes at 10:30pm and in bed by 11.

To make matters worse, I made grand plans for my winter break. All of that time off would yield great things (read: articles), or so I told myself. Instead, I hung out with family and friends, relaxed, read books on the Kindle, and did absolutely not one stitch of work. And I didn’t even feel bad about it. Instead, I felt rejuvenated and ready to go back to work.

All of my administrative friends and mentors, especially those at programs without doctoral students, have talked about not being able to write academic articles or conduct research while serving in their admin jobs. I heard it, but I didn’t believe it. I guess I am starting to understand, if not accept, that this is what is happening to me. I am still hopeful that I can partner with other faculty friends to produce some research and writing, though it hasn’t happened yet. I am also hoping that perhaps summer with serve as a potential time to write, as most of the students will be gone and the pace should slow down a little bit. Of course, it may also turn out like winter break.

So, any suggestions from my administrative readers out there? If you have stayed productive, how have you managed it? If not, how do you handle the change in your identity? I am interested in your feedback.


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