I'd love to post more often, and present images of my findings, my covets, my photos and my outfits. But this semester has been brutal. Keeping up with the major tasks (like having lectures ready for classes, professional committee duties fulfilled, papers graded) takes up virtually every waking hour. I have new course preps across the board this semester and it isn't pretty. The last words I wrote for my own work were typed back in September. Back then, I thought it would be possible to scratch out a day or so for writing--something that now seems ridiculously optimistic. Now the smaller tasks are sliding--scanning articles, writing exam and essay questions, answering non-urgent emails (I get to the urgent ones, of course). I love the classes I'm teaching and the students have generally been great and largely patient--some of them are aware that the classes are very large (45 in my grad class) and understand that this must take up time. But I feel sorry for them too--the brutal realities are that higher education is under siege with even the most prestigious universities cutting back where they can. My articles used to be scanned by my research assistant but now I have none. And little things like that can derail you. The class sizes are the most obvious sign--45 grad students in one class is just too much for me to give them the necessary attention. In an ideal world, I'd have that time.
So what I'd love right now is a couple of days to myself to rest and still my brain. And then two days to clean house--to go through the piles of lecture notes, organize my dvds, get to the bank before all my checks expire and fold clothes. And a day to bake a pie, go to yoga, walk around the neighborhood. Then a day to do all the chores I remember when I wake up half way through the night and forget again throughout the day as one task crashes into another. And, finally, a couple of days to ease back into my research--make that a week. Without that time, I'll never finish this proposal and never get myself out of this time crunch. In academia as in business, the superstars get all the time they need to produce their work whereas the rest of us struggle with the day to day tasks involved in educating in an era where time and money are scant. I know my work has potential but finding the time to write is so difficult. At least I don't have new course preps next semester so maybe it will all be clearer then.