Monday, October 11, 2010

Tripping the Scale

You may have noticed that I haven’t been blog-reading or blog-writing much lately. That’s because I’ve been focusing my efforts on blog-rithmetic. Well, that’s a lie. I don’t even know what that is and even if I did, I wouldn’t engage in recreational math anyway. I have just been busy. Busy with tangible work and busy with the mental work required to adjust to tangible work after sabbatical. The shit’s exhausting but it’s not all bad. Some folks talk about the work/life balance. Usually the conclusion of such talk is to keep them separated and maintain dedication to each. This does not work for me. I cannot separate things into “work” and “life” categories. Work is how I spend the bulk of my days, it is responsible for the tweediness of my wardrobe, it is the reason I’ve read more nonfiction than fiction, and it provides money for the booze I drink on the couch it bought. Work is why I am tan in the summer, it is responsible for the bulk of my travel and for a significant portion of the people I know. Work keeps my dog in Milkbones.

There is no separation between work and life, no balance to seek. I am just trying to make work more tolerable and, at least occasionally, fun. But damn I feel busy.

22 comments:

  1. Eh, we all hit those points now and again... or are constantly swimming in a ridiculously deep pool of work, with no ledge in site. I tend to agree with you on the supposed life/work dichotomy. To me, it's more about making work tolerable and not letting it overrun my personal life. A lot of times I fail even at that :-)

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  2. Word. *raising hand* Have been blogabsent as well. Frazzle city over here. You know...this may call for a blog party at your hizzou, Dr. No! Perhaps we all need a break!

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  3. PAR TEEEEEEEEEEE!

    I'll bring the cheetohs! You fire up the hot tub.
    jc

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  4. Hello,

    I'm writing a careers article for New Scientist about the ups and downs of life as a PhD -- and the PhD student's supervisor. Would you be interested in contributing? Drop me an email at shanta.barley@googlemail.com.

    Shanta

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  5. "Work keeps my dog in Milkbones." Ain't it the truth; ain't it the truth.
    I have no personal into which work doesn't creep and no work into which personal doesn't creep; and that was just as true before offspring as after. Movies, books, free time is viewed through my professional lenses and work time is skewed by my priorities, biases, and interests.
    Balance is a commodity recently sold to us, anyway, by companies who want us to purchase slippers, chocolates, and whiskey. So you're covered.

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  6. Hey Shanta, no offense, but did you completely miss the whole "I'm busy as fuck" vibe of the post?

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  7. two words for busy as fuck.....medical leave.

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  8. I think we're out of cheetos and bourbon.

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  9. I've been piss-poor with my posts. Very busy too. Hope you've had a minor win or two!

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  10. Are you coming back? I've just discovered your blog, and read the entire thing sequentially over several evenings -- I laughed so hard and read most of the comments.

    Now you've stopped :( Can you write a book?

    Your early post on teaching statements for tenure dosier (however you spell that) got me here - that was so hilarious. Almost made up for the fact that I had to write one of those myself.

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  12. Dr. No,

    I realize that you've stopped regularly blogging; nevertheless, you make a wonderful point about the separation (or lack thereof) of work and life. As teachers, isn't it amazing how we see the transformation from enthusiastic young teachers to overworked paper-graders to attempts to separate work and life and back around again? Over and over, I think many teachers experience it.

    Do you think there is a way to resolve this shifting imbalance? Is it possible to gather all teachers into a professional community? I wish that the politics and arguments over different teaching philosophies could cease and we could move forward together for the benefit of our students. How can we do this?

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