03 May 2014

Where Did April Go? (What Professors Do: Miscellaneous)

I haven't posted in a month.  Part of what happened to April was Passover, and the attendant cooking and eating and catching up with family.

Right after that, all hell broke loose.  John Ziker and his colleagues at Boise State recently did some research about how professors spend their time, and even they were surprised at how many hours their colleagues were working every week (average: 61) and how much of it was spent in meetings (17 percent) and answering emails (13 percent).

Some of the things I've been up to:

giving feedback on annotated bibliographies to guide drafting of term papers
writing recommendations for students and for colleagues
attending the various presentations, lunches and meetings involved in a tenure-track job search
reading MA theses, and providing feedback to guide revision
grading and commenting on papers to provide feedback to guide extended versions
writing, and delivering to colleagues, a lecture on digital humanities
meeting with students regarding academic work, internships, plans for graduate study
working with a former student on an article
scheduling MA thesis defenses, reading theses, attending defenses
providing comments on student presentations to guide drafting of final paper
organizing panels for a local conference, which I didn't end up being able to attend
committee meetings
attending end-of year honor society induction and awards ceremony
department meetings
did I mention grading/writing feedback on papers?
organizing an annual symposium

A few years ago, I asked my Facebook friends, many of whom are teachers, how much time they spent reading student papers; the answers ranged from three to five minutes per page.  I'd been wondering if I was doing something wrong, so that helpfully validated my own practice.

It's not over yet: I have final exams to write and to grade, a conference paper to write and deliver, term papers to read, final portfolios to review, final grades to calculate and submit, and various other administrative and teaching tasks before the semester is over. And then, sixteen months before I teach again: bittersweet.