The Balancing Act

I mentioned earlier that, upon being officially permanent full-time faculty, my duties and responsibilities as such seemed to have increased exponentially, dropping unannounced from the sky like a Heffalump on Piglet.

I think — I THINK — I’m on six committees now.  Um… 1) Common Book Project Committee, 2) Core Curriculum Steering Committee, 3) English Program Committee, 4) Asian & Middle Eastern Studies Committee, 5) Arts and Literature Program Committee, 6) English Department Website Redesign Committee.

I think that’s it, for now.  God, I HOPE that’s it for a long while, now.

What with all of that Institutional Service committments, my mind is reeling with the seven — count ’em SEVEN — sections of freshman and sophomore English classes that I’m teaching — my primary faculty responsibility —  as well as the 25 required Professional Development credits I’m supposed to rack up for this academic year. 

On top of that, I’m still the faculty advisor of an English Honor Society that I’m trying to revive from being “barely breathing” to “alive and kicking” — mostly by bribing potential members with “Hey, membership has its benefits — like CASH AWARDS and CASH SCHOLARSHIPS!!!” 

I’m still optimistic when it comes to getting that society’s literary journal off the ground, but, three semesters and two aborted issues later, it’s still slim pickin’s when it comes to submissions.  Yet, hope springs eternal.  Either I’m an idealist, or I’m dumb.  (Let’s hope for the latter.)  To say the least, the “Student Service” part of my job responsibilities is more than covered.

But what has happened so far, heading towards the midterm of the fall semester, is that I’ve been unable to continue my work responsibilities once I’m at home — that is, grading.  Daniel turning two has increased his mobility and his curiosity as exponentially as my job duties.  Gone are the three-hour stretches of nap-time on the weekends, as well as ten-to-eleven hours of nighttime sleep (when I could reliably fit in grading time at home).  Lately, Daniel’s been falling asleep past 9pm, and waking up around 6:30am — he’d open his bedroom door, shake the baby gate barring his exit, and announce calmly, “Out.”

I don’t recall a time, in my ten years of teaching, that I’ve apologized to my students as much as I have had to this semester — for being late on grading.  It bothers me A LOT, that I’ve been behind on grading, pretty much since the first essays have rolled in.  And, short of neglecting everything else at my job AND everything else at home, I don’t see that changing any time soon.

In short, this semester, I seem to seriously SUCK at the Balancing Act that is my working life and my home life.

Yeah, yeah… I know that’s nothing new, and that I’m not the only one in the world experiencing this.  I wish that realization made me feel better.

I said it before, and I’ll say it again — is it Thanksgiving yet?

And for the record: THANK GOD, for patient students!  🙂


About lizardqueen

If single-mothering were a paid job, I'd be rich. However, it doesn't, so I write (which doesn't pay the bills) and teach (which does). I'm overly-educated in the liberal arts, but that doesn't hinder my ability to be pragmatic and realistic. YAY.
This entry was posted in EDUCATION, Family & Parenthood, QUIRKS, Teaching. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Balancing Act

  1. convivialdingo says:

    Yeah, that’s pretty much my experience – though obviously I get far less done heheh.

    I tend to create a schedule based on an idealistic perception of time rather than build in some backup time. Also, I personally tend to sit around doing nothing while at work (corporate habits, argh) – if only because I feel I have to put in the hours. Now I use that time to do administrative filing, whatever I can – then I leave.

    Yup, I’m still learning Time Management 101, LOL…

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