Blog note: resurfacing.

Dec 01 2010 Published by under Academia, Passing thoughts, Personal

You will have noticed (if you haven't given up on me altogether) that things have been very quiet here.

I have been slogging through the toughest semester of my academic life. I'm including in this consideration all 26 of the years I was a student and each and every one of my pre-tenure freak-out semesters here. When people ask how I'm doing, I've taken to replying that my job is trying to kill me, and I'm only joking a little when I say it (because I don't believe that my job itself actually has intentions).

I'm hopeful that things will get better, but honestly, it's hard to know. The increased workload doesn't show much sign of receding (because, you know, the state of California is still broke, so public employees should just be thrilled to have jobs rather than agitating for more resources, or for job demands that might allow them to sleep occasionally or spend a weekend day with their kids).

What I do know is that cutting out the blogging to try to stay on top of the work is not working for me. It feels like, for me, the blogging is a crucial mechanism for reflection. Without it, I feel like I don't have a sense of what I'm really accomplishing, or of why it matters, or of who I am as I'm hurtling though it. I feel stuck in my head in a tangle of chaos, and that's not making my stupid workload any easier to live through.

All of which is to say, I do not know when my blogging will "get back to normal" as far as the longer pieces on science and ethics that I used to write before work ate my brain, but I will be writing something here regularly, because it's the only way I know to survive this.

16 responses so far

  • sciwo says:

    Hugs. Hope returning to some blogging helps and that things actually do improve on the job front. At least *this* semester will be over soon.

  • Madhusudan says:

    As a fellow Cal State faculty member (albeit at a different campus), I am totally with you on this! Blogging has been my refuge/self-reflective space through the tenure track, and in this past year-and-a half of increased workloads, I've actually found my post frequency go up! Not necessarily the quality/depth/length of what I write, but definitely the frequency. Not sure I could've survived - especially last spring - without this! So hang in there... 🙂

  • Madhusudan says:

    And BTW, would you like to come speak in our weekly colloquium in Fresno one of these days?

  • If I believed in good karma, I'd try some send some your way. 🙂

    I know what it's like to end up with too many commitments. For me, blogging has to be the thing that suffers most.

  • I feel your pain--I feel a lot better when I'm blogging too, but "real work" has trumped everything else for now. Glad to see you're still alive though...

  • Brian Wolfe says:

    It sounds to me like you find blogging to be the best method of introspection. If this is the case then you definitely should continue to open your mind up here.

  • bill says:

    Take care of yourself, and I hope things get better soon.

  • Here in Korea, we've been getting an awful lot of English teachers from California who either can't find work at home or have been laid off. I hope the situation over there gets better soon. Take care.

  • Jeremy says:

    I'll never give up!

    See, not even a Rick Astley joke.

    Take care.

  • Hang in there, Janet. I'm pulling for you.

  • Janne says:

    Seriously, if you feel so overwhelmed that your job seems to be killing you, and if there's no sign it's going to let up, then your job might really be killing you.

    Which means it's time to get out.

    Or, more precisely, it's time to get out of an untenable situation before your resulting heart attack, not because of it.

  • Liz Ditz says:

    I for one will look forward to you catching your breath & resuming blogging (even though I comment almost never).

    Here's a blog thought for you, when you have the brain-space*

    What the CA budget crisis means for educational quality at the CSUs.

    Kids who used to count on going to the UCs are defaulting to the CSUs and kids who might have gone 4 years at CSUs are now starting at community colleges. This isn't all bad, but does have implications.

    *"brain-space" isn't something that you can quantify but it is a handy metaphor.

  • Zuska says:

    Love you. Miss you. Hate hate hate zombie brain-eating CA budget crisis.

  • Mean and Anomalous says:

    Hang in there, and thanks much for the posts, I always find them enlightening. I do hope that, when you have the time you'll post your thoughts about the recent (2-Dec) NASA press conference about the odd arsenic-phile microorganisms found in Mono Lake.


  • Lurker in Germany says:

    Take care, miss you.