Tuesday, October 09, 2012

When It Pours



I’ve said before that academic work is often feast or famine. Sometimes it gets piled on. At other times you get to catch your breath, and maybe even complete a thought. There is one way to predict when you’ll get hit with a pile, though, and that is whenever it will be most unpleasant for you. This is a corollary of Murphy’s Law, no doubt.

Xavier was originally scheduled to be off school on Monday, and Tuesday, October 8-9. I knew CONtraflow was the weekend prior so I scheduled two tests on Friday, the 5th, knowing I’d be able to recover from the con and get my tests graded over those two free days. Then Hurricane Isaac hit and we lost a week, and as a result we’ve taken those two days back for classes. To accommodate CONtraflow, then, I moved one test to Monday.

It would have been tight to get to the Con and get the first test graded too, but I could handle it. Alas, I had forgotten to predict the inevitable. When I came in on Friday I also found three big research proposals waiting for me in my box for my evaluation.  I went to work on those and made some progress, though it meant that I barely made it to the meet the guests party at CONtraflow. But by Monday morning, two new research proposals had spawned in my box, and I gave another test that day. I put in almost 15 straight hours of work and made it about halfway through the pile that needed to be completed. I’ve been up working since early this morning and it’s looking like a 12 hour day is on the way. I’m taking a little break to write this.

I looked at Blogger for the first time in several days yesterday and had 283 posts in my feed. I hadn’t the strength so had to mark them all as read. If I should get through early enough today, I’ll try to make some rounds this evening. I’ll have to see.

In the meantime, Issue 6 of White Cat Magazine is out, and it looks to be a doozie.  I’m going to do a fuller review as soon as I can get out from under the work pile. Check it out. 
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24 comments:

David J. West said...

I hear that one. I'm surfing the web as means of maintaining some procrastinating sanity.

Tom Doolan said...

You're not making much of a case for me to persue a career in academics, Charles. :) Glad you could find a moment to stop in. And, in an odd way, I'm glad you're busy. Because I think the opposite would be very bad.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sorry the school schedule didn't work in your favor. Don't worry about the blogs.
And did you see the back page of the new issue of White Cat Magazine?

pattinase (abbott) said...

As a public university, WSU never gets days like Columbus Day off.

Charles Gramlich said...

David J., you gotta have some breaks

Tom, busy does mean paycheck I'd guess.

Alex, I did. Looks pretty cool!

Patti, we don't specifically get Columbus day off. we have what are called contingency days, which are like a fall break, unless there's an evacuation. Sometimes it dovetails with Columbus day but not always.

Deka Black said...

I think sometimes, "Murphy" is the name of a trickster god. Because things like that sounds like a very bad joke.

Hope you can get some rest soon.

Snowbrush said...

A line from, somewhere, a movie, perhaps, comes to mind: "It must be a drag being you," that is when you've been hit by so much at the same time.

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Charles, more feast than famine, I'd assume. A friend of mine gave up a lucrative corporate career to teach young students in a not so developed part of India. He finds it more fulfilling than anything he has done so far. I hope you get time to relax in between your hectic routine.

The Golden Eagle said...

Ack, you sound awfully busy.

Charles Gramlich said...

Deka, maybe Murphy is the newest incarnation of the Trickster.

Snowbrush, not much incentive to keep going when all you have in front of you is work. But life has a momentum, I guess.

Prashant, I definitely feel that way at times. I like my job a lot. Most of the time, at least. :)

Golden Eagle, indeed so.

Ron Scheer said...

Well, deep into retirement from all that, I can offer you my heart-felt sympathies. For me it was a regular tsunami of papers to read and grade. My wife could tell you that it would put me in a bad mood for weeks, with a brief hiatus before the next wave arrived. Some day, I'll probably begin to miss all that with a degree of nostalgia, but not any time soon. Teaching is a wonderful calling, but enough is enough.

X. Dell said...

Well, the grading and proposals will get done eventually. Hope things look brighter by the end of the week.

laughingwolf said...

geez... whine and complain... you're beginning to sound like a slipping belt in your car engine! :P lol

seriously, teachers are never paid enough for all the crap they go thru, sometimes even the teaching part...

small break coming up... called xmas!

Cloudia said...

please continue to model a moderate method of dealing with our blog addiction


Aloha from Waikiki,

Comfort Spiral

> < } } ( ° >

Greg said...

nice cover on this issue of White Cat. good luck with the work load today!

sage said...

Isn't it a shame that interruptions are all too frequent in life... hang in there! (At least Issac wasn't too bad)

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

As long as you and Lana are doing well health-wise, the rest will sort itself out, my friend.

Charles Gramlich said...


Ron, what makes the grading worse is when you have students who it seems like you are working a lot harder than they are.

X Dell, Got a lot done yesterday thank goodness.

Laughingwolf, I was thinking the other day I just need to shut up about this kind of stuff. Don't do no good to talk about it. Well, maybe it does. sometimes. :)



Cloudia, uh oh, sounds like a touch assignment. :)


Greg, yeah, I really like that cover a lot.

Sage, seems sometimes that's what life consists of.

Bernard, amen, brother.

Jess * Jessie * Jessy said...

Hope you get to take a breath. BTW, The Writers that you mentioned in your previous post sounds like the kind of book I used to love reading. I'll track it down.

Travis Cody said...

Sounds like the academic version of the business hockey stick. Don't forget to find some downtime somewhere in there.

Charles Gramlich said...

Jess, I'm having fun with it.

Travis Cody, yes, looking forward to some downtime, and maybe writing.

jodi said...

Charles-you are one busy dude!

jodi said...

Charles-you are one busy dude!

Charles Gramlich said...

Jodi, so it seems.