Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Work Smurk

Work has really been kicking my butt lately. I’ve barely had time to enjoy the publication of Witch of Talera, much less keep up with blogging. I have been commenting on folk’s posts, just not posting much myself. At this time of the year it’s so hard to make much progress on any ongoing project. Here’s what’s on my front burners.

1. Continue final revisions on Writing in Psychology, the textbook for a writing class that we teach here at Xavier University of Louisiana. This is a collaboration with two other faculty members in the Psyc Department, and now I’m about half way through the final read through. Only minor changes are being made now, but it’s still tough to find the time to focus.

2. A critique of a chapter in a Physiological Psychology text by Bob Garrett that is undergoing the revision process now. Fortunately, I finished that yesterday.

3. A peer review of an article submitted to The Dark Man, the Robert E. Howard journal for which I’m an Assistant Editor. Haven’t started this yet.

4. Editing and setting up peer reviews for another article submitted to The Dark Man. This is a lot more work than doing an individual review and I haven’t started it yet.

5. Completing my next mailing for REHupa, the Robert E. Howard United Press Association. This is due by the end of November and is almost done. I have to get it done early so I can make copies.

6. Preparing, with some collaboration from colleagues at other local New Orleans Universities, a panel presentation on recruiting minority participants for research for a national conference on research in the spring. There’s a meeting about it today but then it’ll go on the back burner for a while.

7. Processing three study proposals that have been sent or are being sent this week to the Xavier IRB, of which I’m chair. One I finished yesterday. The other two should be coming today or tomorrow. These are the ones I know about. Others could be dropped off at any time. There is always a clock ticking with these.

8. Trying to find time to make up final exams for three classes, including one I’ve never taught before (Psychopharmacology). Our final exams come the second week of December so I have to get on this over the Thanksgiving break next week.

9. Turn down an offer to write a bunch of short articles on national sports figures for a reference series. I might enjoy some of this but there’s just no time.

10. Whatever I forgot because it seems like there’s more. I just have to keep telling myself, “it’s only a job, it’s only a job.” And eventually there’ll be a break in the flood.


virtual nexus said...

Is this a case of seeing the nice trees before the forest, and then finding you've planted a whale of a forest, or of seeing the whole forest and not seeing how much time it will take to axe the individual trees?


Lana Gramlich said...

#9 starts with key words to solving your problem; "Turn down an offer." Saying "no" takes far less energy than taking on 15 new projects (& it also allows you more time to focus on what you ARE doing.) You seem to strive to keep yourself overly busy. I don't grok that philosophy, particularly as I sip a beer on the deck, watching the birds. There's room for you out just have to start telling people "no."

Lana Gramlich said...

...and please stop commenting on my blog until you get caught up on "work." As much as I appreciate it, I don't need it as much as you need your time.

cs harris said...

Wow. And I think I have too much to do!

Bernita said...

But that's love, Lana.
I imagine he needs to do that because it's the most important thing of all.

AvDB said...

You are one busy man. I keep thinking it would be nice to be so in demand, but I know once I got there, it would be a totally different story.

"recruiting minority participants for research for a national conference on research"

I love this; it's so bureaucratic.

SQT said...

Gah! Blogger keeps eating my comments!

You are busy! I have a friend (single guy) who gets so flustered if he has to be somewhere on Wednesday, he needs to take Monday off to plan. Seriously. Clearly, you know how to multi-task.

Lana Gramlich said...

Bernita; I appreciate the sentiment, but one's physical &/or mental health should take precedence. (That's love, too. ;)

Charles Gramlich said...

Julie, the problem is that academic work always comes in waves and there seems no way around it. One might agree to review something at a time when one has little to do, but the item for review doesn't come until later, until it so happens other things are happening too.

Lana, you actually don't see how many things I turn down on a daily basis. I was asked to do a short proposal for that conference meeting today and said no. Some other folks asked to meet with me next week about something. I said not till after Thanksgiving. As for commenting on your blog, "what Bernita says." So there. Besides, it keeps me from working and sometimes I need the brake, sweetness.

candice, it's often feast or famine in academia. When Christmas break comes I'll have a lot less to do than most folks will have. But until then I'm paddling for all I'm worth.

Bernita, right on.

Avery, I tried to keep to myself as much as possible so I'm not in demand, but tis the nature of the business. Yes, the conference will be far more beaurocratic. I'll post some of our official panel titles at some point.

SQT, practice, I guess, since I don't really "like" to multitask

virtual nexus said...

Ah yes. Get the drift.

May not be directly relevant, but
My husband has a vocation where he has to set the agenda. On a suggestion he mind-mapped ALL areas of responsibility, graded A-C re significance, then slashed out the C's and stuck to it. Made a lot of difference - before he'd commit to five things in advance then find he'd have five things plus a crisis in the same week; plus OCPD is seen as a virtue rather than a vice over here!

Steve Malley said...

Seems to me, with my cutthroat shaving and your schedule, we oughta switch blog titles! :-)

You are truly a powerful force in getting-things-doneness...

SzélsőFa said...

now that's a workload for sure.

Lana Gramlich said...

Charles; If you're turning down more than I realize, you need to start using that expletive we've talked about along with "no." ;)

ZZZZZZZ said...

ah, lots of stuff for you to do. I have Abnormal Psychology right now. Very interesting but soooo much work involved. Next semester I have social psychology... I really wanted Health Psychology but it was full. maybe social will be cool too...

Leigh Russell said...

I feel a bit guilty writing here as I don't want to take up your time when you're far too busy already.

It's true, you can't always organise your own time in academic life. You have to accommodate agendas set by other people. I just keep telling myself it's only 6 weeks till I have a break, only 5weeks etc. It doesn't actually make any difference, but I find it helps. I'm sure I can't make any suggestions you haven't already thought of so I'll just go away now - but not before I send you a supportive message. What do you mean, where's the message then? That was it! Oh, alright then... Keep up the good work, blogbuddy, sounds like you're doing a great job. And it's only ....* weeks until you have a vacation.

*Please fill the gap as I don't know the number.

Leigh Russell said...

and please keep commenting on my blog. It makes a great break and I can control how long I spend on it! (Or I could, if I hadn't become addicted to blogging!!!)

I know you'll understand this, Charles - Amazon have corrected my name so I no longer have to pretend to be two people!!!

Danette Haworth said...

When I have that kind of workload, I have to approach my tasks like a horse wearing blinders.

Danette Haworth said...

Ha! Just noticed your post title!

Chris Eldin said...

I hope you get through this in a healthy way. You're lucky Lana has your back!

Travis Cody said...

Geeez! And I thought I've been busy over the last 4 months at work.

But I guess it's a different kind of busy for a different kind of job.

Hang in there.

Charles Gramlich said...

Julie, sounds like a strategy to consider.

Steve, but when the semester is first over all I'll be doing is full throttle sleeping.

Szelsofa, fortunately I was able to get another of the tasks done today.

Lana, maybe you could draw me picture? Lol.

Sheila, I suspect that Abnormal is quite a bit heavier than Social. It is here anyway.

Leigh, now only you and I will know that you are truly 'two'

Danette, yes, exactly. Not much time to explore the paths less taken.

Church lady, Lana tends to keep my stress levels low at home, which really really helps.

Travis, the work comes and goes. Eventually I'll have some weeks where I can really focus on my own stuff.

virtual nexus said...

Charles - It's so obvious, but spending ten minutes dumping ALL of it on mindmap galvanized us. Also, a mate (psychologist)warned us that once you hit the big 50 it gets harder to see things from a fresh view.

lana - can't get through to you on yours, but thanks - thought you'd like that. Bit of fun. I did a 12 week Intensive Foundation Course at the Slade some years ago which was mind expanding - and worked briefly with an art dealer. Fascinating insight in the art trade, but I'm no professional artist - more interested in people!

JR's Thumbprints said...

I've had trouble blogging myself. With two new teachers at work and preparing for a trip to Texas, it's getting harder to make time for those daily routines.

the walking man said...

First loosen the pinch clamp, then hammer a socket onto the tie rod end nuts, breaking the safety pin from castle nut and take them off, grab your air hammer, with "pickle fork" tool and break the tie rod assembly loose and remove, then you place a stand under the lower control arm and remove the nut holding the ball joint and proceed to break it loose, once loose wire the steering knuckle out of the way and take a three pound sledge out and hammer the old ball joint out. Move to rear of vehicle and remove the brake assembly and rotor. once that is complete starting on left side disconnect all external components to the transmission, after that remove the drive shaft using 12 millimeter socket, then move to right side of transmission and remove all external connectors, cooling lines and the starter motor, removing the starter motor is facilitated by removing the starter solenoid, support transmission on a jack and remove cross member, once cross member is removed lower transmission just enough to the point where it is still resting on jack but tilts engine down, remove fly wheel cover and remove flywheel connecting nuts, facilitate turning flywheel to access all nuts by using a long half inch ratchet and socket on vibration damper to turn crankshaft. Once flywheel is unbolted using three foot extension and 15 millimeter swivel socket to remove seven bolts holding transmission to engine. Be careful because the transmission is aluminum and the engine is cast iron so there will be a certain amount of "wiggling" of transmission to break it free, due to electrolysis. once transmission is free slowly move it out from under car. Using proper tools and repair parts reverse order for re-assembly.

In short; steady methodical work in order of complication (deadlines) gets you through the day.



Erik Donald France said...

Exhausting. I know, I know.

To teach or not to teach, that's the q'

Charles Gramlich said...

Julie, I'm about to hit that 50 mark. just one more year.

JR, I can imagine. There's always a lot of start up time for everyone when new teachers enter the scene.

Mark, but when I snapped the thingamajig into the watchmacallit the fersnazzle went kurplumpfh. I guess I did something wrong. ;)

Erik, if I could just teach at the easy times it would be OK.

Farrah Rochon said...

I need a nap after reading that schedule!

Want to know something funny? One day, back when I was in summer school and taking Writing in Psychology with Dr. Y. Dubois Williams, I made the decision to seriously pursue writing. In that class she told me if my heart was really in writing, then that's what I should be doing. I started my first novel in the student lounge right after class.

Until last summer's fire I still had the manuscript version of the text book we used in that class.

Good luck getting through everything on your plate.

the walking man said...

Strangely enough though Charles, was day in and day out when I had jobs like the one described, that required knowledge and methodology and logic I found in retrospect that those were the happier days.



virtual nexus said...

lana - thanks. Replied on mine. What happened was a bit risky.

writtenwyrdd said...

Gak. I hate that kind of pace! I hope you are holding up well under it.

Sidney said...

Yeah, work can seriously interfere with life!

Ello - Ellen Oh said...

Good luck! And stop commenting on everyone else's comments! Save yourself man!

I can so relate to you right now! I feel like if only I can get past the holidays, it will slow down.

Jo said...

What you need to do is some serious multi-tasking. But then again, as Sidney says, work can seriously interfere with life. And which is more important? If you keep up this pace, you may need a little pharmacology, or you'll be psycho. :-)

Anonymous said...

You are definitely busy, but I don't think you need me to tell you that. Keep pecking away at it. Good luck with it all.

virtual nexus said...

lana, left a note on mine but I just love that. Would amuse male offspring - one computer science and the other fine art...

virtual nexus said...

PS - lana, if you want a smile over a cup of coffee, there's a short piece in my second blog that might amuse you. It's called 'Dark Gold' and it actually happened almost as described...

Charles Gramlich said...

Farrah, I didn't know. Pretty cool. I'm glad the class had an influence on you. Du Bois, Dr. Hammer and myself are revising that Guidebook now so we can submit it to possible publishers. It's been expanded since you used it.

Mark, I know I apparently like being busy. I must because I usually am.

Julie, I mentioned your comments to Lana, in case she doesn't check my blog comments

Sid, too often. Too often.

Ello, yes, the break is coming and then I know I'll get caught up.

Josie, I self medicate with fried chicken.

Writtenwyrd, so far I'm keeping my head above water.

Jack, thanks.

virtual nexus said...


Thanyou - hope you've made good inroads into the workload