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Overwhelmed… Just a Little

Just looking at my calendar makes my insides crumble. We’re in the middle of week 3 of our 10-week term, and I don’t think I’ll survive until week 10. So far, in 2 and a half weeks, I’ve had student appointments, classes, meetings, and presentations fill up all but 25 of my working hours. That means an average 1.9 hours each day to do all the preparations for those appointments, classes, meetings, and presentations, plus answering an unending stream of email. My next two and a half weeks are already similarly full, as well. No wonder I’ve had to do so much class prep and email answering in the evenings and on weekends! When you tally it up, it all makes sense. No wonder I’m feeling overwhelmed!

My worry is that with so much stuff scheduled like this, my students won’t be able to find a times when I can meet with them. It would be so discouraging for a student to realize that he or she was completely stumped, zoom over to my calendar, and see no more red “I’m Available” slots left between now and when the assignment is due. So discouraging.

And really, that’s the main thing that worries me. I enjoy my work enough that I don’t mind the being busy part. It sure beats being bored! I actually look forward to my work days (almost as much as I look forward to weekends, and that’s saying a lot!). I just wish I could spread the crunch that is Fall Term out into the surrounding terms just a little.

2 thoughts on “Overwhelmed… Just a Little

  1. I’m not sure if it’s something that you can do for this semester, but may be next semester you could think about scheduling office hours – an hour or two a couple of times a week when students can drop in, at least during those peak times that students need help.

    If no one shows, you can be working on something, and if someone shows with something intense, you can maybe get them started/get past their sticking point and then schedule them a full appointment later.

    Of course, so says the one who doesn’t do this, but can already foresee a time when perhaps she should.

  2. I’ve always resisted that option, but you’re right, it may become an important option if this calendar crunch continues. Like you said, especially for peak times it might be necessary.

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