Little by little

Oct 28 2008 Published by under Uncategorized

Being the newest faculty member of the department has it's pluses and minuses. Generally you get protected from a lot of things if your Chair wants you to hit the ground running. I negotiated to be free of teaching the first semester and I have been given the freedom of teaching an advanced seminar course in the spring, which will be considerably less work than creating a full course. My Chair has so far shielded me from being put on (most) committees, having to advise undergrads and a lot of the general busy work that I will eventually become acquainted with. On the flip side, everyone wants you in for lectures because you are new. I already have two seminars scheduled at other universities and gave another earlier this semester. In addition to that, the other faculty in the department know that you don't have any teaching responsibilities at the moment and are not shy about looking for "guest lectures" for their classes on topics close to my research. I don't have a problem with this, since it will give me a bit of a feel for the students here before I have to teach my own course, but I was just asked on Saturday to give a 50 minute lecture this Friday. Again, not something I mind doing, but another obligation heaped on top of the pile and another example of how free time just doesn't exist. I do realize that there is a time to say "no" to things when you have to make your own work a priority, but all too often it is an accumulation of little things that add up, rather than one big thing that takes up your time. I guess taking a few minutes here and there to write entries to this blog would also apply, but whose counting?

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