Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Summer Stresser

FOR ACADEMIC EYES ONLY (practicing readers may be deeply offended by my self-indulgence)

By my count we are in week 7 (out of 12) of "summer"--the time between graduation and when the fall semester resumes.  We are more than half-way through this shimmering mirage, this beacon of hopeful productivity, balance, and reprieve.  All year long, I think, THIS summer I will......  And now this THIS summer is here, I am feeling concerned about all that hasn't been tended to at work or at home. At least not yet.  (And it isn't for lack of trying--75 exams graded, 3 conferences attended, 1 article draft complete, 3 unexpected child illnesses, and 1 empirical study bogged down in the details.)

This is a common refrain of conversations had with fellow academics. It all goes by too quickly and with self-imposed pressure to make the most of it professionally (write two articles for August submission!) and personally (go on exotic travel adventure with family!).  By my personal count, I am failing on both fronts.   While this is a unique schedule for academics, I think that the promise of summer lures most people from all walks of life into an unrealistic vision of this time that is inevitably filled with the juggling act of travel and work and family and fun.  So with 5-6 weeks left, I am taking stock of my writing expectations (maybe that short piece won't get finished THIS summer) and re-prioritizing because I want to feel good when I walk back into the classroom on day 1. Mostly, I just want to avoid feeling like this:


-Anne Tucker

Anne Tucker, Law School | Permalink



Thanks a lot for reminding me how little I have accomplished so far this summer and how quickly the time is passing. Tick, tick, tick, . . . :)

Posted by: Steve Bradford | Jul 2, 2014 7:44:02 AM

Wow. Love this post, Anne. Working on moving the home front further forward this weekend and (by bringing a bunch of stuff to my Dad's house for disposition) next week . . . after finishing one more article . . . ! :>)

Posted by: joanheminway | Jul 2, 2014 10:38:04 AM

You are clearly very productive, Anne. To trick your left brain from judging your right brain too harshly, might I suggest using the respected tradition in internal accounting and related incentive-based compensation schemes: adjust the metrics. First, lower the bar and reward yourself for progress already achieved. Backdate that article! Second, adjust the methodology for measuring and reporting progress. You did not finish one article, you finished five parts and 20,000 words.

Posted by: Urska | Jul 2, 2014 11:09:47 AM

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