Friday, October 22, 2010

Still buried, but digging

I'm still completely overwhelmed by the amount of work I have to do this semester.

This isn't really all that unusual. I felt the same way—much worse, actually—at this time last year. The difference is that I think I might have reached the point where my efficiency can go no further.

I have done so much since I started teaching to improve my processes. The class I'm currently teaching is one I've taught not once, but twice before. I know the book, the lesson plans, and the assignments. True, I'm tweaking because I'll always be tweaking. But it's not the deer-in-the-headlights, what am I doing tomorrow? feeling it once was.

And yet, I'm still always behind. I still have too much grading and not enough time with Eleanor. And I'm starting to think that this level of work is not sustainable for me right now.

When I started teaching, I was told that there's a cap on how many hours a part-time adjunct professor would work. I immediately assumed I would be working right at the cap, and calculated my budget accordingly. Looked good!

But this is the first time I'm actually at the cap, and I'm completely miserable. I think I need to start rethinking the budget, because it's not worth the time I'm spending away from Eleanor, or that I sit next to Keith on the couch in the evenings, ignoring him because I'm doing work again.

I actually feel a little bit better, having decided that it really is just this much work. It's not me, it's not something I need to be doing differently to be better, faster, smarter. It's just a fact, and I need to figure out how I'm going to deal with it.

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