The Waiting Room

This could take a while...

Monday, February 01, 2010

Choosing Wisely

Posted by Seeking Solace |

Campus was closed today because of the snow and ice from the first winter storm of 2010. Unlike LESC, Elsewhere does not deal with snow very well. People really think the world is coming to an end.

But, I am not complaining, because I did not have to teach today.

I really needed a day just to work. I did not have as much time to prep for my classes at the beginning of the semester as I would have liked. I only had a week to get everything in gear. Well, I got most of what I wanted done, but there is so much lecture planning to do and most of the course I have not taught in the past, although I do have some materials from other courses to cut and paste. Add the coughing and snotekeys that will not die and I am just swamped.

One thing I must say is that I am getting better at finding the balance of exactly how much I need to put into my work. I have learned to let go of things that I would like to do, but reality says otherwise. In the past, I would just push myself so hard to do everything right now.

For example, I found out about a national conference for my field that will take place this fall. There is a call for papers, but I didn't learn about the conference until last week. Today was the deadline for proposals. I tried to put together a proposal and session outline for about an hour and a half. It just wasn't happening. I called the organization to find out how extensive the proposal and session outline needed to be. Of course, they wanted a very detailed session outline with references and other stuff. I hung up the phone and took a deep breath.

Now in the past, I would have thrown everything that I had to do for my courses aside to finish this one project. Then, I would scramble to finish my own work. The end result would be exhaustion and cranks.

This time, I just decided that now was not the time for me to present at this conference. I really need to focus on my classes and doing a good job. So, I let out a big sigh and buried myself into my lecture prep, grading and designing research projects. It felt good to let go of the excess pressure and just remind myself of what matters now. I got so much accomplished today; much more than I expected.

It also felt good when I ran into the HMFIC in the hallway. He stopped to tell me that I was doing an awesome job and he knew he had hired a great person who really cares about the students and the program.

Yeah, I think I'll wait until next year's conference.


AliceAcademic said...

How great that you got confirmation on your choice like that. Kudos on focusing your efforts in the right direction today.