Oct 15, 2010

Running just to keep up

At the moment, I'm running just to be able to keep up. October is proving to be a horrendous month for work. Not only am I teaching 2 courses, that requires me to prepare a new case study every week and run a pilot group project for the students, but it's also the mid-term season, so I'm preparing a grading grid for my grader (another case study), giving students feedback about their group project progress reports and racking my brain on how to keep the class busy next week when we have no reading assignments.

Amidst all of this, I'm also trying to work on several papers with my co-author who is visiting until the end of the month, while keeping 3 other research projects afloat. It's not proving to be easy. Not to mention all my new service obligations: I'm now an official member of the department's PhD committee which means I'm involved in several new initiatives including marketing material to attract new students.

At the same time, our department is recruiting new faculty. Two positions to be exact. So this month I'm attending 8 job-talk presentations and meeting with candidates. While it's better to be on this side of the coin than be the candidate, it adds up to a lot of work. Meanwhile, our own PhD students as well as some at other schools are asking me for input on their job market packages -- not lightweight things at the best of times. I am trying not to say no to any of these requests, as I see it as a "pay it forward" activity. Without similar such input two years ago from a meaningful mentor, I never would have made it through the job market.

All in all, life is hectic. I'm trying to fit in various doctor appointments, physio therapy (for my back) and gym/workout activities. No wonder that I was up at 3am this morning, dry-eyed with my brain running wild. The only solution: do some work till I feel sleepy again.

The baby is taking it all in his stride, growing fast and kicking happily while I get on with things.

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