I work all the time now, basically, but I have so many different things to do that working all the time just keeps me ahead of some really basic things. I am quite fast, and I am only slow insofar as since academic work is a space of abuse for me it is sometimes hard to go in, and hard to focus.
But I have a lot fewer flashbacks now than I used to and most of the time I am able to focus very well and move on ahead. It is heartrending, however, to do so many things in so superficial a way. I would be glad to do any of them if I had time to get just a little below the surface. Only a little. I do not ask for much.
Why is it that the courses we teach take so much time, given that our load is not as heavy as it could be? The principal reasons are that (a) one must constantly be giving NEW advanced out of field courses, and (b) one must constantly be giving new VERSIONS of basic courses, whose goals, content and materials have been decided by others, but which have not been revealed to one.
If we had power over our days and had not been taught, before tenure, to be “flexible” and “accommodating,” we would limit the total number of new advanced out of field courses we gave or had to give, and some coordination would be done at the level of the basic courses (as opposed to just dictation of materials).
Now I have announced that no matter what anyone else says I will now give only six advanced courses, ever (content will vary, but they will be only six), and that they will be in field. I think I might secretly make my own versions of those basic courses and teach them my way, no matter what (yes, there will be flexibility and change, but it will be my way). I think this would save a lot of time.
I think I shall also never again invite anyone to speak who cannot speak to and at the hour of one of my courses. This would also save a lot of time.