Not To Be Trusted With Knives

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(More Than) Halfway There

It’s mid-March. Which means it is, mercifully, more than half way through the semester for the eighteen billion courses that I’m teaching right now. I mean, I love the classes that I’m teaching – one is statistics, another is data and research management, and a third is program planning & evaluation1 – and my students are awesome. But oh my gawd that is a lot of balls to keep in the air at the same time, along with my regular day job and various other sundry things I do.

Two of the courses run the full semester (one online and one in a weekly night class), but the other one is a half-sized course that runs over two weekends (Friday and half of Saturday one weekend and then three weekends later, half of Saturday and all day Sunday). I taught my first of those weekends on the first weekend of March and it was totally flashback to my MBA, which ran on a similar cadence and occurred in the same venue. And also the feeling of sheer exhaustion.

Right now, every day is go to work, possibly go to the gym or play hockey or teach a class (depending on the day), then spend the night marking assignments/creating assignments/develop course material and activities/making slide decks/reviewing online discussions and responding to students. Unless it’s a Saturday or Sunday, in which case I get to skip the “go to work part”. Every. Single. Day.

But I’m more than halfway there. I’ve completed week 10 of 15 weeks for my two full semester courses and half of my classes for the weekend course. I’ve only marked 6 of 14 assignments/tests, so there’s still a fair bit of work to do on that front, so I guess I’m a bit less than half done on marking and a bit more than half done on teaching.

I am really, really going to enjoy May this year.

  1. Yes, those topics are exciting to me. YMMV. []

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Time Thieves Strike Again

I swear the days are getting shorter. And not in the sense that we are well into fall now so there are fewer hours of sunlight every day, but like there is less actual time in a day despite the fact that the clock tells me 24 hours have gone by. Because it seems like every day I get fewer things done than I intended and it totally can’t be because I want to do way more things than is humanely possible nor that I am just too slow at doing all the things. It absolutely must be because time is speeding up. Or time thieves are stealing all the time when I’m not looking because I’m too busy doing all the things. Or trying to, except time thieves thieved all my time.

Part of the problem could be that a number of balls that I had in the air all decided to land at exactly the same time! Said balls include:

  • Peer reviews from a journal article that I submitted in April just came back and some revisions are required.
  • I need to review revised chapters for the update of my textbook and they are coming in fast and furious!
  • I’m teaching a course this semester and I totally thought it wouldn’t be too big of a deal since I taught it last year. But last year was the first time I taught it and it turns out that I had a lot more ideas for revisions than I remembered I did, plus things keep happening in the news that I want to incorporate into my lectures, so that all ends up taking a bunch of time.
  • Two guest lectures that I agreed to give a long time ago both decided to happen around now and apparently guest lectures don’t write themselves.
  • My actual day job, which is always crazy busy, decided to get CRAZY BUSY, with some overnight trips to collect data at various locations.

Now, before you say “Beth, if you are so busy, how do you have time to write this blog posting about how busy you are?” Well, truth be told, I wrote most of this on my phone while Skytraining to work, because Skytraining isn’t really amenable to getting all those other things done, but I can write stuff on my phone. And tonight I’m in a hotel room for one of those overnight work trips and my brain is too fried to do more than copy and paste this into my blog and then write this sentence about how I’m copying and pasting this into my blog and writing this sentence. And even that made me tired. But it’s OK – it’s only another about 8 weeks of this and then I can sleep again. And the way that time is flying these days, that will go buy in a flash!

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Fire Alarm is Alarming

Fire ExitI was totally going to write an interesting blog posting today, but then there was a fire alarm in my building and I just spent the last 45+ minutes standing outside my building instead of blogging from the comfort of my couch as I intended. Granted, this was better than the fire alarm we had a few weeks ago at 2 in the morning (!), but it still kind of sucks, as I have much better things to do be doing, thankyouverymuch. And neither of these incidents were actual fires – something about a “leak in the boiler” set off the alarm, whatever that means. On the plus side, I met a few of my neighbours and got to chat with them for a bit, so that was nice. I also thought to bring the tea that I was drinking at the time outside with me, so that made the whole thing somewhat more civilized.

Anyways. Now I’m sleepy and ready for bed, so instead of an actually interesting blog posting, you get this bulleted list of random whatnots:

  • Went for a run after work today, but my right foot was not too happy about it. Anytime I was running uphill – and let’s face it, I live in New West, so I’m always running either up or down hills – it decided to express it’s displeasure in the form of pain. But I wasn’t going to let a little thing like that get in my way, so I kept running. My time wasn’t very good, but at least I did it! I’m sure my chiropractor will love me tomorrow when I ask him to yet again adjust my feet bones!
  • Since I ignored my foot’s request to not pound it repeatedly on the ground, it decided to exact its revenge in the form of a massive blister on the sole of my foot! You win this time, foot!
  • Actually, I think the blister is likely the result of the fact that I bought a new pair of shoes and I put my fancy pants insoles from my old shoes into my new shoes. But they are molded to the shape of my old shoe + my foot, not my new shoe + my foot. I think I need to cook them to get them into the right shape!
  • I would totally take a picture of my awesome blister, but my camera is b0rked. In related news, I need to buy a new camera. Anyone have any recommendations?

Image Credit: Posted by Alyson Hurt on Flickr.