Tuesday, September 4, 2007

A Day in the Life of a New Professor

7:20 am. Alarm goes off. Actually, this is the third of three alarms; a whole battalion is set nightly to avoid over-sleeping.

8:00 am. Get up. Shower, coffee, etc.

9:00 am. Decide to postpone work and go to the post office to mail rent, which is four days late. Delay was caused by long weekend and an income-free summer. Luckily, however, there are now a few hundred dollars in the bank account--but not as much as anticipated, because of course income is taxed and employee must contribute to health insurance and various pension funds. Anyway, rent is now in mail, thank goodness.

9:30 am. Get home. Engage in some preliminary "organizing" activities.

10:00 am. Start working, more or less, by reviewing prep for 12:30 class.

11:00 am. Realize that no real work is being accomplished; stave off fear that there's no possible way to fill 75 minutes with the material at hand. Rummage through file cabinet and miscellaneous paper piles for twenty minutes seeking the copy of the book prospectus that had advisor's comments on it. After some panic, locate said prospectus in a file folder labeled "Cambodia."

11:20 am. Decide to eat lunch.

11:30 am. Eat lunch. While eating, read over the annotated prospectus. Consider possible revisions. Wonder in bafflement at when those revisions will get done. Concoct ambitious working program, which is then noted in day planner. Observe that all courses and course prep are absent from day planner, providing a false sense of freedom and possibility. Indulge in said sense of freedom and possibility regardless.

12:00 pm. Go to campus. Putter about office for a bit, attempting to come up with some last-minute discussion ideas for class.

12:30 pm. Teach class. It's fine. Worry was unnecessary. Notice, however, that it's quite warm in the room, and keep arms firmly clasped to sides to avoid embarrassing sweat exposure.

2:00 pm. Two hours of "office hours," during which exactly two students stop by for a total of maybe seven minutes. Use the first half-hour to install file cabinet components that require actually breaking metal against desk. Feel satisfied with own strength, and contemplate telling any passing students not to "mess with the doctor." No students pass, so witticism goes unused. Figure that that's probably for the best. Use the next half-hour or so to prep for tomorrow morning's class. Tomorrow's afternoon class is already prepared, thanks to the long weekend. Feel all self-congratulatory about this.

3:30 pm. Realize that readings for tomorrow morning's class haven't been photocopied. Interrupt own office hours to rush to photocopy center. Be reassured by cheery employee that copies will be in mail box by 9:30 am. Experience relief.

3:40 pm. Return to office. Decide to read ahead, because many many papers are about to come in over the next two weeks.

4:45 pm. Decide that it's far too late to be at the office. Go home.

4:55 pm. Perform complicated military maneuvers against the fruit flies colonizing the kitchen trash. Take out the trash.

5:00 pm. Strip down to undershirt and put on pajama pants. Reapply deodorant (it was hot, after all). Commence blogging. Contemplate drinking beer. Try to ignore the fact that the ambitious proposal-revising plan is already out of step with actual (non-) accomplishments. Mentally list things that need to be done for job market. Feel momentary panic, but stifle said panic with further beer-drinking contemplations.

Hm. Beer?


Notorious Ph.D. said...

Hey, i'm new here, but I just wanted to congratulate you on the job. Sounds like you're settling in well. Looking forward to reading about more of your adventures.

Sisyphus said...

Yup, beer. It's hot here too. I like the complicated military maneuvers being instituted against the fruit fly menace, but I note that actually winning in these sallies is as futile as getting involved in a land war in Asia.

On the other hand, ice cream heals all wounds.

They think it's time, but they are wrong.

heu mihi said...

I did eat ice cream. And did not drink beer. Because I'm responsible like that. Today, at least.

Hi, Notorious! Nice to meet you, and welcome!

dance said...

I think I've managed to achieve fruit flies with no fruit.

However, whatever those little bugs are, I console myself with the thought that they are helping entertain my cats in a new unfamiliar environment.

I consistently sweat during class. Eventually, I said "screw it", stopped wearing sleeves, and stopping worrying. For some reason the sweat circle bothers me far less with sleeveless than sleeved tops.

Beer is not irresponsible. My first year of my first job, I went through a bottle of wine a week. Recently, I confessed to drinking alone to some professor friends, who all said it's only drinking alone if it's hard liquor.

My, I'm long-winded.