[With apologies to WIP, who wrote a blog post about what some professors’ ends-of-term feel like.]
When I am not teaching, I barely notice which day of the week it is let alone when classes end. I believe either yesterday was or today is the last day of classes at the University of Waterloo. However, in my admin job, nothing is different. Except. I don’t get quite so much of the flexible time as I would usually have in between semesters. I was also reminded that I am expected to be at work on the last day before the university closes for Christmas. Deans and Associate Deans are at their desks because the staff have to be. Fair enough. There will be some festive activities: a Christmas lunch hosted by the Dean, a potluck on the last day, some collecting for charity. Inevitably there will be cookies and squares.
I suppose one thing I will be doing over the next three weeks is reflecting on my first term as Associate Dean. Whereas in the summer when I took on the job things were relatively quiet and I could spend time reading reports and organizing my files. Now I have too much reading to do, too many links to follow, too many conversations to remember. My desk shows the evidence of a more cluttered work life and a less organized Lady Professor. Here’s the evidence.
My spaces are filling up, in my head and in my surroundings.
Notes to self for this coming month:
- You have to teach a graduate course in the Winter. Don’t forget to write a syllabus and read the materials! Oh, lecture/seminar notes too. How do I use D2L again?
- Three-minute thesis competition. Don’t screw up the planning. And by the way, get on it NOW!
- See that stack of books publishers have sent you because you’re on a book prize committee? Read them. At least most of all of them.
- Take a walk in the snow.
- Um, two PhD students have submitted chapters. You promised to get comments back in three weeks max. Do it!
- Organize your email folders: they are in a worse mess than your desk.
- Buy that voucher that gets you a discounted rate at a country inn for two nights. Book the dates with your sweetie, Arlequino.
- Rank those scholarship applications that have just been dropped on your table.
- Get the strategic planning group that you are co-chairing moving on “action items” (ugh, can a new year’s resolution be to unlearn the lingo?)
- Stop biting your nails! You quit years ago; why have you started again?
- Think about Cuba in April. Cuba. Playa Esmeralda. Mojito.
- Call up happy memories of Salt Pond Beach, truly my happy place. . . Ahhhhhhhhhhh
- Play more Scrabble. You hear me FB friends?
- Put your feet up every once in a while.