Tuesday, July 15, 2008

University professors have it easy!

All that time off in the summer!

I'm not complaining, I think I've got a great job, but I would like to point out that there's always plenty to do.

Note, for instance, what a newly tenured medieval literature professor in the United States is doing in the next five weeks, on top of attending an important conference in Britain (and here I directly quote):

* Re-write article due August 15th according to feedback from collection editors -- some of which feedback I got orally at Kalamazoo, and have been working on, but most of which I just got about a week ago.
* Finish academic book (on planes and trains while away) and write review for - gulp! - Speculum (my first ever for them).
* Read dissertation and prepare for as yet unscheduled August defense. Thank god I'm the outside reader. Note: my first dissertation committee position ever.
* Read MA thesis and prepare for early-August defense.
* Correct proofs of article (possibly with stolen time at Famous Author conference if editors won't give me a 5-day extenstion). I just got the PDF of the proofs 10 minutes ago and they're due July 25th. I'm leaving tomorrow and I'm still fine-tuning my paper, doing laundry, packing, etc.
* Prepare for and organize department orientation for non-TA students.
* Meet with colleague with whom I will be the dramaturge for a 2010 production of medieval drama (he needs to plan the season this far in advance and we have to settle on which plays and what form of text -- simply modernized or truly translated).

This kind of stuff is just as much a part of her job as teaching in a classroom. Sure, she could maybe now get away with doing less, but the only reason she has a permanent job and a tenured one at that, in a profession that has many more talented candidates than positions, is that she has always worked hard. And indeed she wants to work hard.

But there's not a lot of lying around in the summer drinking mojitos involved.

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