Saturday, July 12, 2008

Where I've Been This Week

Work stole my week from me somehow. As I've blogged about before, most university professors and instructors work a 9-month contract and then become essentially self-employed in the summer, working on career advancement tasks such as preparing articles for publication and developing new courses. But some of us also teach a summer class or two at some point. Because I was an adjunct last year and therefore making next to nothing, I leapt at the opportunity to accept a summer class, not knowing whether I would have work for the next year or not. As it turns out, I've got a one-year contract for next year, but the summer class was a done deal by the time that came about. SO, to make a short story much too long, this means I'm now teaching a 5 week intensive course two hours a day, five days a week.

But it's just two hours a day Kaza! Why is a two hour course kicking your ass? Because it's two hours in the classroom, but many more spent prepping, answering emails, copying handouts and quizzes and exams, and, above all, GRADING. It's teaching three weeks of material each week. It's SO much more work than I thought it would be. And it's even worse because the class is smack-dab in the middle of the day, which means prepping at home in the morning with the Little One underfoot (the hubster is home but trying to do his own work before I leave), then commuting, then stopping into the office briefly to make copies and talk to my chair (that's academic-speak for head of the department, I'm not talking to the chair I sit in... I am definitely a bit crazy right now but not holding discussions with the furniture...yet), then running into class and boring them silly for two hours straight, then answering a bazillion questions (okay, more like five or six), then commuting back, then spending some time playing with the Little One who sticks to me like glue after I return, then the whole dinner/bath/bed/etc routine. So somehow one two hour-a-day class is turning into more than I expected, and I still have all of that career-advancement (and in my case, job search) stuff to do.

This is all my way of helping you to understand why I ended up on the bed in our home office on Thursday night, curled up in the fetal position whimpering. The hubster looked at me and asked what was wrong. I told him it was nothing really, just that I was spending nearly every moment of every day answering questions and needs and right now I don't have any time in the day when I can finish a task or even a thought uninterrupted (even while driving I'm interrupted by the abysmal driving in this town).

But today is Saturday!!! I haven't looked forward to the weekend this much in two months. I'm off to play.


catnip said...

Can you answer one more question? What do you teach? You don't have to be too specific if it'll compromise your alias! I'm just curious what your field is.

Kaza said...

Catnip: I'll email you.

Anyone else interested in that info: I'm blogging anonymously for a few reasons (at least for now), so I don't want to get specific on my specialty or the courses I teach. I will say that I'm in the Social Sciences (and I also teach Gender Studies courses).

Does Anybody Hear Me said...

No one understands how hard it is for working Moms. I don't work outside the home and I am ALWAYS busy. Don't ask me what I do though....I have no idea. Whatever I do though sure wears me out! LOL

Molly said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog.

I'm the Dean's assistant at one of the colleges in the nearby uni, so I completely understand you when you say you are talking to the chair! Also, I feel for you doing the summer classes and I will tell you that the faculty who have all skipped town at our place and are not teaching, are not the best faculty. The best ones are around most of the summer!

Adriane said...

I feel you on being stretched out- I'm on the opposite end of the age spectrum; I organized, directed and supervised a historic crafts day camp at a local landmark for kids ages 8-12.

I wanted to just poke my eyes out with historically accurate hand carved crochet hooks. I'm so glad it's over.

Thanks for visiting my blog! You've got some good stuff here, I'm subscribing as we speak.

IRISHKAT said...

I always think that taking a quick summer class is an easy way to earn CEU but it does kick you ass!! I would rather draw it our over time. Trying to juggle with a little one is enough to make you.... well, drink! ha ha