Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Catching My Breath

With this new schedule, it’s time to rethink how the rhythm of the week goes. Again. With teaching all day on Mondays (well, only five hours in the classroom, but with pulling stuff together before, tallying and reflecting on needed improvements for next time afterwards, office hours, and student questions, it takes all day), Tuesdays are going to have to be quiet days. Like an idiot, somehow I didn’t anticipate that in advance (query why not), so Tuesdays have been too full for comfort so far. That means it’s Wednesday before I catch my breath and manage to catch up on my email, clean off my desk, etc., and by then, I’m really dragging. The constant loose ends are making me kind of itchy and irritable. This morning, I finally picked up some clutter that’s been bugging me for days, but I’d felt so rushed I hadn’t stopped for the necessary minute or two to tidy up. What a difference that made in how things felt for then doing the next pieces. I’m working now on clearing at least the mornings on Tuesdays for the rest of the semester to build a better structure looking forward. Live and learn.

Yesterday’s med school teaching reminded me--again--that there’s something important I’m not getting about how the pieces fit together. I’m still seeking that sweet spot where there’s a convergence between what they need to know (based on observation, required graduation competencies and reports of their supervisors and professors), what they want to know, and what engages them in class sessions. It’s puzzling to me why they’re so different from most other groups I work with. Their education makes them more data driven than most groups, so always bringing the research base is mandatory. They aren’t very interested in hearing from anyone except physicians, but there are ways to get around that, which I adopt. Beyond that, though, there’s still an unresolved set of issues. See earlier refrain: live and learn.

Today brings yet more teaching (covering two hours of class for a friend) and then even more piled up meetings before I can get back to pulling together the pieces for the class-under-development and the class-needing-revision. Today also brings, I hope, the first sit down in the new writing plan. The optimistic editor suggests a May deadline for the revised manuscript. Gulp. And, still to work out are all the details about what on earth is going on at the big U for early separation incentives. So far, every single plan put out has been retracted within a day or so; it would be nice if that settles down. At least things aren’t boring. That would be worse.

Happy February.

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