This is going to be a rambling and whining post, because it is not even 6 AM and I’ve already responded to emails and fed the cats and I have a zillion things I need to do before I go in to campus from like 1 PM to 9 PM. Grumble.
The fact of the matter is that I’m just feeling like I have no time. Specifically, I really want to finish a complete draft of my book manuscript, and I don’t have time to do it. By my estimation, I really need about a solid month on which to work on it, and then probably at least another couple of weeks to do polishing. And yes, I do have the winter break coming up, but problematically, that “break” includes Christmas, which really fucks the whole “big block of time” thing up. And then it will be the spring semester, and it’s not like things like “course releases for research” or anything like that exists. I’m seriously considering creating a week or two in my syllabi where I will create some kind of “independent learning” component so that I can not have my classes meet face to face and get the book done. Which, let’s note, I feel like is a terrible thing, but at the same time, I’ve been told that unless I get this book under contract my chances of getting promoted are zero, so clearly my colleagues don’t value my work in the classroom as much as they value this freaking book (which let’s note: they don’t actually value; they just want to use it as a gate-keeping device).
The bad news is that this isn’t the only problem I’m having time-wise. I might have an article deadline on Dec. 1. I can’t even talk about that, other than to say I think it’s highly likely that I’m going to need to ask for an extension.
As a follow-up to my post this weekend, I should actually clarify that I don’t hang out with students socially until they’ve graduated. Heck, I won’t even be Fb friends where I let them see any of my stuff until they’ve graduated. And they all call me Dr. Crazy, not by my first name, and in some ways my relationship with current students is quite formal. But I think that it is the case that even with those boundaries in place, because of the content area in which I teach my students do tend to develop a more personal rapport with me than they do with some of their other professors. It’s the effect of working on modern and contemporary literature as well as issues of gender and sexuality in literature. Add to that the fact that my own upbringing and educational background very closely resembles that of my students (which is not the case for any of my other colleagues, now that I think of it), and a certain kind of relationship develops out of that, which is very different from how students interact with my other colleagues (male or female).
I’ve begun knitting HS BFF’s wrap for her wedding and it is really going to be beautiful. The lace pattern that I chose mimics the detailing on the bodice of her dress, and the yarn I got is this really soft mohair with gold threads woven through it, and knitted up it feels like a cloud. If you said, “you’re feeling grumpy because all you want to do is knit,” you would not be wrong.
Perhaps I need to attempt to look on the bright side. On the bright side, I’m showing a film this week to my one class, and the other class is all about writing their papers/peer review, and the OTHER class is chugging right along reading novels that I love and know backward and forward, and the OTHER class is reading stuff I like and working on papers and doing just fine, too. And I’ve got this student who is a first-semester freshmen who is already declared as an English major and this student is VERY ambitious (he was lugging around a copy of Wittgenstein last week, and I do not work at the sort of institution where doing that would make any social difference to a student: he’s seriously just “interested”), but I feel like this whole semester has been a bit of a tug-of-war with me trying to encourage him while at the same time I try to force him to be more sophisticated in his thinking, and so it’s both awesome and exhausting.
Ok, I need to stop blogging and to start getting stuff done. All I want to do is to go back to sleep. Grumble.