Thursday, December 03, 2009

A Little Bit of This, a Little Bit of That

I have no unified idea for a post, but I feel like writing, so I shall ramble.

First things first: I am tired. Like, tired in my soul. I mean, physically tired, sure, but in additionally I'm just tired - mentally, emotionally, intellectually, etc. Only two weeks left, and two fairly tame weeks (committee meetings are done! prep is done! I just have to show up and to grade a gajillion things, but otherwise, done!) In the next two weeks I will need to grade approximately 600 pages of student writing (and no, this is not all of the writing I've assigned over the course of the semester) plus about 50 exams (and yes, I have given other tests throughout the course of the semester). This is nothing to sneeze at. This is why I make sure that my final week of classes is light on the prep stuff. Oh, and I've also got to serve as a respondent for a grad student thingie. Oh, and I've got to do some curriculum nonsense. But seriously: I'm thanking all that is holy that at least I don't have reading or prep.

I'm more anxious than I probably should be about all of the applications for things that I should be hearing the final word on within the next week to two weeks. The only thing that really totally matters is sabbatical, and when I'm being reasonable, I know that it's likely that I will get it. When I'm not reasonable, though, I'm freaked out about the possibility that I might not. The other things would all be bonuses. Summer money that would mean that I don't need to teach two classes this summer. Some extra money that would make it possible for me to travel to some archives not on my own dime and that would make it possible for me to hire an RA type person. A course release for next semester. I can survive without those bonuses. I seriously don't know how I can survive without sabbatical. I know that comes off melodramatic, and maybe it is. But seriously: I might die without sabbatical.

Things go smoothly with the search committee on which I am serving. Nothing more I'm comfortable with reporting about that, other than that I am very excited about the candidates we continue to consider. I have high hopes that we will hire a really super-fantastic colleague. Oh, I guess there is one thing that I'm comfortable with reporting. Lots of times people assume that certain kinds of candidates have "no shot." The criteria for what kinds of candidates have "no shot" varies, but I can tell you that we are interviewing a range of people, from ABD to much experience, from Incredibly Fancy PhD programs to Very Strong State School PhD programs, to No-Name Regional PhD programs. We are interviewing people from a range of backgrounds, with a range of specific interests. In other words, while it's true that we won't be interviewing approximately 94% of the people who applied for our position, it's not like people were thrown in the recycling bin because of arbitrary ideas about who has "no shot" at a job at our institution. While I suppose this might not be the case with all searches at all institutions, I feel like it's worth noting that at least in terms of how things work in my neck of the woods, or have worked with this really wonderfully composed search committee, our choices were not arbitrary ones, and people weren't excluded for such superficial reasons. And I think that's a good thing to mention in this forum, because I know that this is a time of high anxiety for many job seekers and people fear they'll be excluded from consideration for any of the above reasons. At least in our search, these things are not ruling the day.

Hmmm. What else? I dunno. I'm just feeling spent and tired and overwhelmed and what have you. But in two weeks, this semester will be OVER. I must focus on that light shining brightly at the end of the tunnel.

3 comments:

PhysioProf said...

In the next two weeks I will need to grade approximately 600 pages of student writing (and no, this is not all of the writing I've assigned over the course of the semester) plus about 50 exams (and yes, I have given other tests throughout the course of the semester). This is nothing to sneeze at.

Sneeze!?!? My fucking bowels cramped up just reading about that shit! What a fucking nightmare.

Janice said...

I'll see your stack and raise you several, though I expect that my degree of professorial engagement with the prose will be much less than yours (the advantage of being a historian).

I'm also feeling truly burnt out in ways I haven't for a long, long time. This term pushed me over the edge and I'm just thankful that winter will be easier (less than half the total enrolment I'm tackling now, for starters!). Today, at least, I got word that the dean supports my request for a sabbatical term, winter 2011, but there's still a way to go.

*sigh*

Terminal Degree said...

I've been reading all over the blogosphere about profs who are burned out on the job, myself included. If October is supposed to be Exploding Head Month, then this has felt like Exploding Head YEAR.

Hope you get the sabbatical.