The start of term hit like a very large hurricane, disrupting everything in sight. Good bloggy intentions were amongst the first casualties of the teaching storm, sorry about that, but there are consequences when you cram approximately 50 % of a full years teaching and admin load into 6 weeks. The other consequences include 3 rounds of freshers flu, being grumpy enough to sink a battle ship and absolutely no life outside of work. The aftermath of a teaching storm is the inevitable marking storm – this week brought about 180 exams to mark, next week brings about 180 lab reports of varying lengths.
I have some control over timetabling and could rearrange my teaching load to a point to never do this again but I’m not going to do that. This way I’m free and clear of teaching and marking by early December. That’s not to say I haven’t asked (screamed!) for help – I finally bit the bullet and requested that one task, the final straw if you like, gets redistributed next year and I take on something that happens out with the first few weeks of term. I must look/sound as bad as I feel because that request was promptly granted. It surprised me, but then I realised that in all the time I have been an academic I have never really asked for anything resembling a reduction in workload. The opposite in fact – I’m usually first to volunteer to do the new or extra thing. I wish I could chalk it up to a triumph of reason over rudeness but I find that both seem to be equally rewarded.
Anyway, I thought I should check in briefly – I have some entertaining tales from the semester but I shall save them for the weekend.