Bleurgh, indeed.

I worked all weekend and am understandably exhausted now that the new week has started. This is the part of the semester when I get really angry over all the things I have to do, and I am doubly pissed because I swear there is more service now, in the middle of the pandemic, than what is normal. Admins collectively seem to be losing their damn minds, and being the types they are, they seem to try to regain some sense of control by starting more unnecessary, boneheaded initiatives. I will have to complain to the powers that be because it is insane to expect this much extra of people under these conditions, even though I know a vast majority of my colleagues either have grown kids, don’t have kids, or have someone else shouldering the burden at home, so might not be sympathetic to my pleas. But I cannot fucking supervise morning school for my kids, which means I am trying to work, while Smurf does his thing next to me, Middle Boy is in the next room, and I am responsible for food and help/clarifications. Me trying to work means I am getting constantly interrupted while attempting to handle endless emails and papers, grant proposals, editorial duties, reviews of papers and proposals, letters for everyone under the sun, Zoom meetings with students/whole group/collaborators, student defenses, and so, so many committee meetings. Then in the afternoon I go teach in person. By the time I come back home, I am completely fried. But wait! Maybe I still have to post class notes or homework solutions! Or finish up service paperwork! On the weekends, I grade exams, do more editorial work, try to catch up on reviews of stuff, try to get a couple of hours uninterrupted so I can revise and resubmit some papers, and everyone ^&$#E(%&$ wants everything done yesterday.

Are you feeling bleurgh, too, blogosphere?


  1. My next deadline isn’t until Saturday! (I also worked all weekend and got a thing due last Thursday in o. Monday after getting an extension. Yesterday I also caught up on email and processed a manuscript that the reviews came in for.) If I work steadily I should be able to make the two Saturday deadlines and revise this nearly finished paper back to the student authors. And do all the meetings I’m supposed to do. If I don’t work steadily I’m in trouble.

    I’m booked solid with deadlines and coauthors wanting things until mid December which is when I’ve been telling people I haven’t had time for to check in. So probably packed until teaching starts again.

  2. Extra bleurgh because our state just went into full lockdown again, and our daycare notified us they are only allowed to provide childcare for the children of essential workers. Educators don’t count as essential under state guidelines, so now I’m staring down the end of the semester crunch and an overdue article revision while supervising a virtual 2nd grader and a three year old whose current favorite shared activity is getting into fights over imaginary objects. Sigh.

  3. Very very bleurgh. I’m supposed to be writing an exam right now, and I am just so tempted to recycle last year’s exam because I just can’t, and I kind of don’t care if anyone cheats, because what does it matter in the grand scheme of things, you know?! And it’s late at night and the kids are asleep and I haven’t had a moment to myself in about six months or so. Bleurgh.

  4. I’m actually feeling pretty good, sitting her with my laptop and (small) glass of cheap port.

    Of course, this is just a lull.

    I spend most of the day grading and cleared all the backlog except a handful of redone assignments—redos always go to the end of the list. I spent 3 hours in Zoom lab and managed to convince one student that their class-D amplifier was actually working, and helped another student debug hers (a loose ground wire). Helping students debug in lab was always difficult, but it is even more difficult helping students debug their hardware when you can’t see it and have to rely on their (inaccurate) descriptions of it. But it is satisfying to talk them through the debugging process—at least I managed to get Analog Discovery 2 USB oscilloscopes for all my students, so that they can share their oscilloscope screens with me. (I understand that Digilent is finally chipping away at the backlog and shipping ones ordered in July.)

    Tomorrow another 16–20 hours of grading will appear in Canvas.

    Also tomorrow I have to meet with the chair, the grad director (I’m undergrad director), and the Associate Dean to discuss the TA situation for next year—the school of engineering is cutting our already paltry number of TAships by a third. This doesn’t affect me much—I’ve only had one TA for one quarter in the past 5 years and only one other in the past 10 years (and he is now a lecturer teaching the course, having taken it over from me in 2016). But it does affect whether we can offer largish courses, which are the only way we can get the resources to have TAs in future years.

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