29 September 2021

Final sprint before term starts

I am always surprised how much work there is to do in summer if your work in academia. And this year was worse than normal! The previous year had already been quite trying, with us having to suddenly make the transition to online learning in a summer. That had been difficult, and I am still feeling the after-effects through my RSI.

This year should have been easier. I had to make a new assignment for a module my colleague Suzie had been teaching in, and that was a fair amount of work, but otherwise things were not out of the ordinary. Until I had to organise our third year field trip. That changed things! So I threw that assignment aside and set to work on the fieldwork. And when I was not working on the fieldwork, I was working on my dissertation module is that needs to be ready by the start of term, and that is also a lot of work. Or I was working on welcome week. I was quite worn out when the fieldwork was over, and then I suddenly only had one week to get absolutely everything else ready for the new term. I lead on two more modules, and nothing had been done on these. And then there are the usual preparations for things such as the tutorial module. And there was dissertation marking to do (Masters dissertations). And there was the time I had to spend the welcome week itself. By the end of it I had been working basically from breakfast to bedtime for 19 days in a row and I was feeling the strain. And the problem with that is that is a self-perpetuating system; it isn't very nice to know you are already worn out before you have started teaching, so then you are one out and feeling bad about being worn out. But I did get my sites ready and my marking done and my tutorials prepared. And of course, then term was about to start and there was not really any rest for the wicked, but at least I could now sometimes take an evening off, or part of a weekend. I needed it!

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