Day: February 10, 2016

(Way Over) 15-Min Improv Blogging

It’s that time in the evening when a) I have so much work to do, but I am b) too tired to work and c) it’s objectively a good time to go to sleep so tomorrow wouldn’t suck, yet d) I don’t want to go to work because I am very busy all the time and I start telling myself stupid $hit, like that I deserve to have a bit of time off to fart around on the web.

There is no deserve. There are many people doing crappier, more poorly paid jobs. They are the ones who deserve to rest, and eat comfort food, and enjoy whatever kind of entertainment they want.

N.B. If you want me to completely disregard your advice or ad for whatever, start it with “You deserve to [be allergy-free/thin/healthy/loved] [have time to relax].”


There is just way too much work to do and I am starting to feel helpless, because I don’t know how to pull it all off.

I have a large class and it’s taking up nearly 2.5 days of my week. Lectures, discussion, writing up HW and solutions, office hours, email, and of course there are the exams and grading.

I have grad students to meet with, and so many papers to write. I am hitting the limits of my stamina, in that I (shockingly!) cannot spend a whole day interacting with various undergrad and grad students, spend several hours in the evening driving kids around to activities and then putting them to bed, and then still have the energy for the intellectual heavy lifting. I can understand how people start taking seriously dangerous stimulants.

There are many work aspects that are a chore, so I procrastinate, yet they don’t go away.

Then there are things such as writing papers, that require me to have my wits about for more than 15 min at the time. It’s so unbelievably frustrating to have to fight so hard to be able to write papers. And why is so much work so deathly boring?


I have discovered that a few colleagues are unbelievably selfish, utterly self-centered egomaniacs. I feel a mixture of disgust and envy, because life would be much easier if I were comparably selfish.

On the other hand, it would not be, because I am female and I people expect me to be available and helpful, and get all pouty and huffy when I am not. When a student has a conflict with other classes, they always come to ask me to reschedule; somehow, I am supposed to be more flexible and more understanding than the dude teachers, I wonder why that is. I had a very weird email exchange with a foreign student, who started by asking me to discuss science with him and basically remotely advise him; I ignored him a couple of times, but he kept emailing, so I responded in the vein that I had no idea who or what he was, but that I guessed he was a student somewhere, that the local professors were the first resource for all things academic, that you can’t just ask unknown people to advise you, and that if he wanted something from someone he had to introduce himself, give a bit of background, send a CV, and then ask. Long story short, a few emails later, in which I informed him that I had intention to recruiting students and no time to advise people remotely, and after all of which he still hadn’t sent me a CV or any info on what the heck his background was, the dude scolded me for being selfish and not giving students like him a chance. Can you believe it?  Because he thinks he’s entitled to (he deserves) my time and attention, and thus fuckin’ demands it.

There are a number of young women in my class. With a few, I have established a nice rapport. Others are giving me weird looks. *sigh* This brings back thoughts of honorary dudeness.

I wonder if being a woman academic will ever result in me getting actual respect, automatically, like the dudes do, instead of having to metaphorically beat it out of every single person, male or female.

Speaking of beating stuff, I am back at kickboxing — oh, how I’ve missed it! I love it so much. I hope my shoulder lets me continue.