Monday, February 6, 2006

Getting my act together

I think I'm finally getting my work habits and my schedule all straightened out.

OK, it's now close to midnight and I started my day at 9am and only took off time to a) watch Medium and b) go to Pilates class, so this hasn't been the best day ever. I still need to work on not letting the teaching prep expand to the length of the waking time left in the day. However, today I did accomplish the following things:

  • First things first, I worked on my research for two hours and wrote a single-spaced draft of a page for a short work-in-progress that I have to get in readable shape by Feb. 24. It's only going to a reading group at that point, so it doesn't have to be perfect or polished, and in fact is best if it's not. So I can get it done by then if I keep up this pace.
  • Then I spent the rest of the day prepping for my three classes, answering a few e-mails, and only occassionally goofing off online. Two classes are ready to go tomorrow. One is about 2/3 of the way there, and I have tomorrow morning to finish it off, plus take care of other work-related things.
  • I also ate green veggies with my dinner. I'm bad at this -- or at least cooking them for myself -- so I feel like I have to acknowledge to the world that I accomplished it today. :)
  • And like I said, I also went to Pilates and watch Medium, with which I'm bizarrely obsessed. (I like the Mulder-Scully relationship of Allison and Joe. And I like the naturalism of the relationship in the midst of paranormal story line.)
  • And hey, I'm blogging!
So that's my day. I'm especially proud of doing the research work first, because had I put it off, I would've found ways to make the teaching prep take even longer. I think I will also start working on timing my teaching prep to make me do it faster. Much of it takes so long because I drift and daydream and kill time while doing the grunt work of making handouts and lesson plans. I think I might buy an egg timer. It's not that I think teaching doesn't deserve more time, but it's not getting "quality time" necessarily, and I have to make time for doing things like, oh, having a life, cleaning my house, mailing my dad's already late birthday present -- that sort of thing -- and doing some of the other work-related tasks I've put off (like service oriented stuff that's easy to let slide).

And now to bed.

8 comments:

Murky Thoughts said...

"I'm especially proud of doing the research work"

That hurt. What are we, chopped liver?

Dr. Virago said...

I'm sorry MT. I'm proud of finally getting around to blogging, too, and especially of giving you a reason to live. ;)

La Lecturess said...

I know what you mean about teaching prep. The prep work that I do on the train is INCREDIBLY efficient--sometimes I can prep two entire 80-min classes in two hours--but the prep that I do between my classes? I can barely get one class done in an hour and 45, even *knowing* I'm going to be teaching at the end of that time.

And when I work on my lesson plans the day before? Forget it--two or three hours per class.

So now I virtually don't work on my lessons plans until day-of, other than doing the reading, reading old notes/lesson plans, and whatever outside sources seem relevant.

Dr. Virago said...

Lecturess -- I wish I had that option. If I had all lit. classes, I could do that. Heck, in many lit. classes I could just come in and strike up an interesting conversation off the top of my head! Or make them close-read a passage and build out from it. BUT, two of my classes are linguistics classes -- Old English and Middle English -- and there I have to know my stuff. Since historical linguistics isn't really my thing, and Old English especially isn't, and I'm using a new book in OE, I have to do all the exercises and translations that my students are doing. Well, at least I know how much time it should be taking my students.

Bardiac said...

Yay, welcome back!

Class prep can always fill every bit of time available, dang, for me too. Especially in classes that aren't in my repertoire, so to speak. Knowing 30+ people are going to be staring at me just gets the old adrenaline going.

I'm so with you on the veggies! I just look all over town for artichokes because they're the only veggie I really like well enough to bother with. The rest, well, I'd eat them if they were prepared, but preparing them... boring.

Ancrene Wiseass said...

I tried desperately to confine my teaching prep to day-of this term, in an attempt to clear out space for the Prospectus of the Damned. I have failed utterly and completely, and I'm teaching a lit/comp course, not a linguistics one.

Which is to say, I sympathize entirely.

Dr. Virago said...

AW -- Well, those comp type courses are also heavy on the prep -- handouts and guided exercises and all that. So I hear you too!

Karl Steel said...

I find teaching prep to be like goldfish.

Oh. An explanation?

In that it expands to fill the available space.

I don't know if this maxim is only an ex post facto justification for my procrastination in doing prep, but if it is: so be it.

Am I looking forward to maybe one day being called upon to teach history of the language courses or linguistics? Hell no. Thanks for asking.