Anatomy of a winter break: PhD Comics

Screen Shot 2012-12-12 at 6.24.23 PMAfter working for 3 semesters, my conclusion is that an untenured assistant professor is more or less a graduate student but with more paperwork, a heavier teaching load, more pressure to publish, and slightly better pay. So I think the above graphic from PhD Comics still applies. This winter break I have a stack of writing projects that I either need to start or revise, a book to read for a book review, a grant proposal to finish drafting, a program evaluation to develop for next semester, syllabi to revise, and a program self-study report to revise. Not atypical as seen on blog posts over at the Chronicle but enough to keep me busy. For sure.

Thankfully my iPad eliminates the need to haul around my laptop and stacks of paper given the strict weight limits on flights now. This will be done in-between visiting one sibling in Hawaii, one sibling in Chicago, and the eight flights + 80 hours spent in airports and airplanes over the course of the next three and a half weeks of this winter break.

But for now, the grades are in, theses have been formatted, memos have been issued, binders have been organized, paperwork has been filed (well after today anyway), grants have been reviewed, book chapter has been submitted, the MoE visit has been completed, and the fall 2012 semester is finally over! And regardless of all the stuff that needs to get done over break amidst spending times with family, friends, and sneaking in some R & R, today, today I am going to just enjoy and be thankful for being (almost) done.

Below: 48 organized and labeled binders (I ❤ label makers and was the envy of my colleagues thanks to the label maker gift I brought from the States). On a different note, the whole week our department was organizing binders, paperwork, etc. anytime anyone said anything about “putting things into binders” or “binders full of paper” I kept thinking about Mitt Romney. Is it crazy that one offhand comment and the word “binders” has a strong word association with him? The power of the 24/7 press.


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