In a week I spend much less time working than I had thought, because a great deal of the work I do — work that blends somehow into university work — is actually on house and family. And almost all my work at work goes to teaching. I had thought the drain from research time was to service but it is to teaching. This is not because I have a high load but because we have an unstable situation, such that courses are always out of field and always new. It is one thing to teach in the fields where one reads, and quite another to teach outside. And although I spend as much time or more on teaching as I technically should, my teaching could use still more of a time investment to be good and I am not saying this out of perfectionism — I am saying it because of the range I am assigned.
So I am efficient on teaching, but I have a lot of it, and I am efficient on housework, but I have a lot of it. I am inefficient on family; small tasks take a great deal of time and energy and they also take research, writing and soul energy that is siphoned directly from research. This profile of duties shows why I feel oppressed in all too traditional a feminine role, and why it takes me so much time to transform myself into the person who does research. I spend a lot of time and do a lot of work changing myself each day, into the research and writing oriented person I need to be but dare not except in secret, and then into another, much less challenging public persona. The fact that I transform myself into this other persona is a problem to be liquidated.
I am not sure how to liquidate it yet, here, but it is why I liked graduate school and working at my R1s: women had rights and I felt very different than I do elsewhere, and was much more confident and bright. In any case we may have our teaching loads raised due to budget cuts and I am going to try to take advantage of this to get my teaching range cut down. We can all win: I will teach more student credit hours, but in a way that will take me less time and contribute more directly to my research. Watch me fail to get this deal. I am still going to try.
Now let us review this week’s work:
Day 1 – 9 hours TEACHING … fitting in a touch of research, but only a touch
Day 2 – 7 hours (time cut short by family issues) TEACHING and SERVICE … fitting in only a touch of research
Day 3 – 9 hours TEACHING … fitting in only a touch of research
Day 4 (day off) – 2.5 hours – SERVICE and RESEARCH, yay
Day 5 (cut short by family issues) – .5 hours RESEARCH, yay
Day 6 – 2 hours RESEARCH, yay
That is six days, with 30 hours of work done, so really I only averaged five hours. This is shocking but then again one could divide by four, since there were two weekend days, and I still only averaged 7.5.
This is fascinating. I just have to get more efficient about the family things — house needs work and I am already efficient — not let the teaching expand further — and I will have Time. And the Crosby article on which I have posted twice talks about the fetishization of Time (fetishization is my word) and my notes on it do not emphasize this enough; I must return to that article and post on it again.
Now we will see about work today. It is in red.
11-12: Reading for class that is also work Stupid Motivational Tricks would call work on the “scholarly base”
12-1: Lunch/write this post
1-2: Keep reading for that class
2-3: Family/house business
3-5: Keep reading for that class, interspersing this activity with work related phone calls and e-mail; post lecture notes
5-8: break; this is 4 hours so far
8-9: Gather more materials for that class
9-10:30 break, this is 5 hours so far
10:30-11:30 Research, yay!
That means six hours today and only thirty-six hours this week, which deserves a comment all on its own.