Wednesday, September 05, 2007

I Do Too Much Work

So, it's Wednesday, and I'm thoroughly and completely wiped out. Why is it that "short" weeks always seems to be so much more grueling than regular ones? But so anyway, over the past two days I have:

  1. Taught three classes.
  2. Had a planning lunch with some colleagues.
  3. Agonized over the "gross" thing.
  4. Prepped.
  5. Done shit for a committee I'm chairing.
  6. Held the meeting for that same committee (which was fabulously short and filled with consensus).
  7. Begun work on the Evil Binder of Reappointment, Tenure, and Promotion, which we must submit each and every year at my institution and which is due very soon.
It's actually #7 that makes me realize that I do too much work, because there is a rule about keeping one's materials to one binder, and I'm now at the biggest binder in existence and I've got no fucking room, and so rather than just adding things I'm having to edit and reorganize, in addition to just updating statements and such. Now, the thing is, there is crap that I can edit out of this thing. Some of what's in there is filler, and it is in there because in the first three years you feel like you don't have enough and because you listen to all of the advice that tells you to include each and every thing that documents your work. But the reality at this point for me is that including each and every thing is no longer possible, necessary, or positive. Because the thing of it is, I've done enough at this institution to get two or three people tenure here. Part of that is because I'm ambitious in spite of my circumstances. Part of that is because my personal life has been on hold since being on the tenure-track (with some diversions, yes, but still, basically on hold - I'm not raising babies or anything that takes the focus away from work in a sustained way). But so it's not about including every single thing anymore, but more about including what is most essential and most glowing. In addition to some other crap that just everybody includes.

But so here I am, on Wednesday night, fucking beat. And tomorrow, while it will not be as long of a day as the past two days have been, does promise to be filled with some pretty intense work as well. Sigh.

And the decision lies before me about whether I will spend Friday on that fucking binder, or whether I'll just suck it up and plan to come in on Saturday when nobody's around to knock the thing out. Ah well, I'll decide that on Friday.

In other news, there is no other news. I am a boring workaholic. That said, I'm happy with the work that I'm doing, and I am (in spite of myself) in part motivated to do all of it because another part of me is itching for the job list to come out because I'm wondering whether I'll apply for anything. And if there IS anything that I want to apply for, I need to be freed up from some of this work stuff to focus on that should it come to pass.

Now, thoughts on the market this year are very different from my thoughts last year. If I apply for anything, it won't be because I've "decided" to go on the market this year. It will be because a specific job meets a combination of these desires: 1) better location (and "better" has to do with a number of factors that are quite specific, not just moving away from here); 2) better job (that somehow combines my commitment to teaching with a lower teaching load); 3) decent cost of living (really, sadly, a deal-breaker). If there's nothing that fits with those criteria, then I'm not applying. I don't want to move just to move, nor am I in a position where I'd want to go out just to see how I'd do, even though part of me thinks that this is stupid because an offer from anyplace would give me something to negotiate with here. But the bottom line is that I've got to maximize my resources and be very focused, because I've got a book deadline, teaching, and a life outside of any market run. If I wouldn't want to move there, work there, and live there, I'm not applying. That's just how it has to be. But I've got to say, I hope that there are at least a few things that attract me.

Ok, so time to get ready for bed.

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