The fall 2011 semester was hell on earth for me. Every department level task, project, absolute waste of time, etc. landed on my desk. I got little to no help. I was working 60-80 hours a week (technically, I’m not even a 40 hour per week employee). Last fall I was a less than stellar instructor because I didn’t have the time or energy to focus on my classes. I was doing something that was not my job because no one else would do it. I don’t ever want that to happen again. The job I love was replaced with something else that I completely loathed by the end of the semester.
The spring 2012 semester was better. I learned to say no more. I prioritized and some things just didn’t get done.
But, I am still very burnt out. I am trying to get motivated. I’m trying to give a crap about department level stuff. It is so frickin’ hard though. I’ve never stopped loving the classroom. I will work whatever hours it takes for my students. I research, I experiment, I reevaluate my curriculum at least every semester, etc. But I just can’t drum up the motivation to care about department stuff any more.
This Friday is my day off. I’ll be driving ~50 miles one way (the actual place where we all work is like 5 miles from my house) to go to a meeting about I project I care nothing about and won’t use. I’ve seen what they have done so far and it is no where near being ready (probably because the person who was roped into doing it also isn’t getting any help) and it needs to be ready quite soon. I know I’ll get dragged in and honestly, I would scrap the whole thing and start over. Of course, I also don’t jump on every academic band-wagon that comes along. Several people in our department really get off on that, whether there is any actual research showing that it works or not. (Can you tell how much I don’t want to go to this meeting?) What I would do would not please those people.
My plan is to go, to smile, to take my knitting, to bite my tongue a LOT, and to get out of there as soon as humanly possible. Hopefully, I won’t get too pissed off or piss anyone else off.