Friday, July 28, 2006

Why am I not as thrilled as I should be?

Why am I not as thrilled as I should be?


I just found out that I have a lower teaching load than I was told. 9 hours a week. I've never ever ever contemplated that I'd be in a job where I taught so little. Two preps (four for the year). There is time for scholarly activity!!! And they are paying me!!! and now I have to do it!!!!

Because, yeah. That's the other part. Expectations of scholarly activity have been raised by a somewhat nebulous amount. If we aren't doing "enough", they will give us more courses.

Yeah, I'm a bit nervous.

And I'm kinda thrilled, and kinda excited. But I don't adjust well to my expectations changing quite this rapidly. Give me a couple weeks, and I'll be reminding myself that I've fallen into a very nice situation.

Just another step in the transition from thinking of myself as a teacher to thinking of myself as an actual, full-fledged academic person, I expect. Self perception's a bitch.

14 comments:

medieval woman said...

Wouldn't it be nice if they gave you the lighter teaching load and said "go to the beach" or "watch a little more TV"? :) But congrats on the greater time to do academic work - even though right now it seems like a mixed blessing!

Another Damned Medievalist said...

Oooh! Sarky! No, I do know it's a good thing. I'm just feeling really daunted because I thought I'd have a little time to ease into a new role, and now I feel like I'm playing catch-up.

New Kid on the Hallway said...

You'll do fine! You're not playing catch-up at all - they're simply giving you the chance to do what it is that you wanted to do all along. Maybe it's just kind of weird to think that research is really one of things they actually expected of you all along, when you think of yourself as a teacher?

~profgrrrrl~ said...

I don't think most places consider this increased "research productivity" time. They recognize that it takes time to settle in, learn the ropes, etc. They're helping it be a more sane settling in.

And boy does it ever take a while to figure out how to use that time productively. IMHO, we all need about 2 semesters of having non-productive research time to figure out how to use it well. Same goes for having research assistants... Luckily, everyone seems OK with this.

Another Damned Medievalist said...

I hope so, profgrrl. The impression I got from department chair was that I was supposed to use the time for research/writing/presenting from Day One.

meg said...

D00d, when you're not moving cross-country, you *are* working. It's what you do. We've all seen the evidence. Just think of it as "They're making space for me to do what I would be doing anyway."

Another Damned Medievalist said...

Oh. Right. oops! Thanks, meg!

drhistory said...

I am so envious. I would love 3/3 course load. Course, I would also love it if I hadn't spent all day surfing the net and avoiding finishing an article.

~profgrrrrl~ said...

Well, they can't outright say "use the time to adjust and transition" -- but I've always found in the end that whenever I get a perk like a course release or research assistant no one follows up on how well I used it. Hopefully that's the case for you, too, and hopefully you'll find a way to use it well regardless :)

Kelly said...

profgrrrrl brings up an interesting point. Since you will going through the hoops of the ivory tower, why not document how you are spending the increased time you are not using directly for teaching an additional class? Administrators tend to love that type of thing because it offers them "tangible support" for ideas like this. And so we have yet another potential question for Dean Dad . . . .

This will all be a blip on the radar screen when school starts in a few weeks! Hang in there!

What Now? said...

I love Meg's take on this! Congrats on the 3/3 load.

timna said...

I totally agree with Meg on this. You've been researching and writing! You will continue to do so, but now it's part of the job.

I'm a bit behind on blog reading (among all the rest of the things I'm behind on now).

medieval woman said...

Oh gosh! I didn't mean to be sarcastic!! I really *do* think that many administrators have unrealistic expectations of how profs "should" use their time from day one! Especially for new faculty...but I've heard of depts. doing one or the other - the dept. I just left really thought that teaching (even with a 2-2 load) would take up most of the first year. People gotta learn the ropes at that particular insitution.

You'll be brilliant - they hired you for a great reason!!

Another Damned Medievalist said...

Thanks! And I like sarky! no worries.