Thursday, January 25, 2007

work, work, work

Nothing important to report, just being a good grad student, nose to the grind stone and all that. Putting your nose to the grind stone sounds like it should hurt. Right now I'm avoiding writing a wiki post for my class. I'm finding that the normal requirements of classes are irritating to me, even when it's a topic that is interesting to me. I tend to feel resentful when I have to read and write about stuff that relates more to the professor's own book/dissertation than my own. (Not very realistic, I know.) If the class focuses too much on the professor's own research I tend to feel like they are coasting on presentations that they have done a thousand times, rather than really putting an effort into thinking about what would help the students learn. I guess I have the doctor who isn't a good patient syndrome. (Ok, I'm not a doctor yet, but I do have a lot of teaching experience.) When my work schedule is so heavy anything that doesn't directly relate seems irrelevant. I know I have to get over this because I will probably miss out on some really important learning experiences if I get too closed minded.

I'm working on campus 30 hrs a week this quarter. Truthfully my jobs might not take up all that time every week, but some weeks they will. If I'm enrolled in 12 units of classes and research and those units are supposed to involve 2-3 hours of outside work for every "class" hour, that would add up to another 36-48 hours a week. Realistically most weeks I have to spend some time running errands and doing paperwork in order to get my degree. Could anyone really keep up with these calculated commitments? I usually "work" 12 hours a day on weekdays, trying to not work after 9PM or before 9AM, but as I said some of that time involves errands, travel, eating lunch while reading, etc. I probably don't do more than 5-10 hours of work each weekend. So by my calculations I'm officially supposed to be working 66-78 hrs each week and I'm really only working 55-60 hrs. No wonder I have impostor syndrome.


BlondebutBright said...

Wow. I'm impressed with your calculations. I've never tried to figure my workload out - I think I would have an anxiety attack. For me, it's one day at a time!

saxifraga said...

I've been thinking about this sort of thing too. When in grad school I kept a time log for a couple of weeks to see how much time I spent working every day. Like you say, I ended up with maybe doing actual work for 5-6-7 hours out of 10 hour days. I still struggle with this question - how to make more of the days, but as you say there are always errands, lunch, paperwork etc. that also needs to be done.

Breena Ronan said...

blondebutbright-I'm making the calculation because I feel like I'm working all the time, but I still can't keep up with everything I think I should be doing.

saxifraga-What tasks did you consider "work"? I'm always confused about this. Are conversations about grad school or your dissertation work? Only if they are official meetings?