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Professor Mamas in 2009 - Page 9

post #161 of 560
Going home late after almost finishing my syllabi for the start of classes tomorrow.

SOOO tired.
post #162 of 560
Quote:
Originally Posted by kerc View Post
Other, more senior people object, propose meetings to be at 5pm on Tuesday. I'm the lowly academic staff member. I don't get a huge amount of voting power, but I AM trying to make myself the person they hire in the tenure track line (whenever they come around to it). Even IF I still had childcare (which I let go because of dh loosing his job), my dcp closes at 530. I work 15 minutes from dcp. : Can you tell the chair of my dept is single/no kids? And most of the senior/tenured members are WOHM dads? GRRRRRR.
Yes, very annoying. Maybe my story can bring a smile to your face?

We hired a new dean right before I went on maternity leave. Fast forward ahead and my daughter is maybe 9mo-1year old, and I had been back to teaching and being chair for several months. The dean sent an email calling a meeting of department chairs in 48 hours, at 5pm on a Wednesday night.

Normally, a meeting after 5pm wouldn't bother me because a lot of us here teach both day and night classes. My problem was that the dean didn't check with us, except to just look at our class schedules on file. However, the meeting was scheduled for Wednesday 5pm, and my husband had every Wed evening blocked out because he had a meeting in his university's curriculum committee. So our deal for the year was that T and Th dh picks up dd from daycare before they close at 6pm, and I pick up dd on M, W, and F.

Now, picture if you will, 3 colinear points, the first location is my husband's work, 55 minutes away is dd's daycare, and 45 minutes away from that is my work. There is no way that I can attend the 1-1.5 hr meeting, and make it in time to the daycare to pick up dd. Normally, I could send someone else in my department to represent me, but everyone else in my department had to teach on W 5pm.

So I lay it all down in an email to the dean and say too bad, I'll leave work on Wednesday, pick up dd from daycare early, and return to university in time for both dd and me to attend the meeting.

That's what I did. When dd was that age, she was very content to quietly sit upright on the floor or table for very long periods of time (she was just wierd like that), and she wasn't even close to crawling or any kind of mobility. I just plopped dd on top of the conference table, put a banana next to her in case she got hungry, and she sat in a circle with the rest of the department chairs around the conference table.

It worked out fine for me, but I went into the meeting completely confident that it would work because dd was an unusually mellow baby who liked to people watch. Dd sat quietly through the entire meeting and none of us even noticed she was there. The only unexpected development was that she played with the banana instead of asking to eat it. The baby was by far better behaved than the department chairs. The other department chairs shared a couple lighthearted moments debating whether my baby would be allowed a vote about the distribution of research funds that were under discussion.

The other department chairs insist that it must be a completely unrelated coincidence, but in the remaining 4-5 years since then, our dean never ever called another meeting of the department chairs. Instead, our dean dealt with each department chair on an individual basis after that. We just got a new dean last month, and her plan is to have chair meetings once a month, so the times, they are 'achanging.

Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I should point out that when I brought my 9mo-1 yo dd to the meeting, I already had tenure and I think I had just become full professor.
post #163 of 560
Quote:
Originally Posted by emilysmama View Post
Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I should point out that when I brought my 9mo-1 yo dd to the meeting, I already had tenure and I think I had just become full professor.
LOL. Yes, I was reading along and thinking first, "See, it's not all that uncommon AND it's annoying." and then "She totally has tenure." And I, I am the part time academic staff member who maybe wants to be the full time tenure-track professor. As my husband says, I'm the "yes sir yes sir, three bags full sir" person.
post #164 of 560
Quote:
Originally Posted by kerc View Post
LOL. Yes, I was reading along and thinking first, "See, it's not all that uncommon AND it's annoying." and then "She totally has tenure." And I, I am the part time academic staff member who maybe wants to be the full time tenure-track professor. As my husband says, I'm the "yes sir yes sir, three bags full sir" person.
That's right, unfortunately. Definitely, do not try this at home. (Of course, I knew you wouldn't.) I just thought you might want to do it vicariously if the situation comes up again.

Maybe it wouldn't hurt to privately give your department chair a chart showing your conflicts? Even better, if your chair has the secretary schedule the meetings, you could give it to him/her? I know that after that incident, I was much more receptive about non-class conflicts for scheduling department meetings. At the beginning of every semester, I email to every department member a list of all of the time blocks that no one has class or office hours. Then I ask about standing non-class conflicts. Even though we are a small department, there usually aren't many possibilities left. However, when I include everyone in my process to converge, I think it makes everyone less frustrated. I also try to rotate which time we have meetings so that I don't make the same person angry each time.

The English Department at my school has like 60 people, so this process would never work for them. They schedule their classes around a specific weekly time block with the understanding the the meeting will be held then.
post #165 of 560
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by emilysmama View Post
That's right, unfortunately. Definitely, do not try this at home. (Of course, I knew you wouldn't.) I just thought you might want to do it vicariously if the situation comes up again.
I've been so tempted.

I had a quarter when the chair of a committee scheduled weekly 7:30 am meetings. Daycare opens at 7:30, so I could choose to be late to the meeting, or bring DS to the meeting.

The first week, DS was not on his best behavior that day, nor did I really try to keep him on his best behavior. If I recall, I'd also brought him in his pjs.

The chair of the committee found a new meeting time after the first week.
post #166 of 560
Quote:
Originally Posted by emilysmama View Post
The English Department at my school has like 60 people, so this process would never work for them. They schedule their classes around a specific weekly time block with the understanding the the meeting will be held then.
Yes, this is the obvious thing to do ... have a scheduled time for meetings that remains the same. We're now the dept of natural sciences with 20+ members. ergo it seems obvious. And it also seems obvious but none of the senior people were willing to go to bat for it that the time for a meeting where you want to accomplish something is not 4pm friday. Personally i prefer 5pm tues, it just sucks for me to find child care (especially so since our 1 after school activity happens on tuesday).

Maybe when she's back Kaybee/Kaybee's dh can help me out with transporting Erin from yoga to home on those few days....
post #167 of 560
I just had the pleasure of watching the president of the faculty tear the dean of students a new one, semi-on my behalf. Nice.....

(He'd omitted my sermon from his usual weekly email re: chapel, because he didn't like the content, and the fac. pres., who loved the content, called him on it in a totally transparent but polite way... listening to him backpedal was just so funny.) (I dislike him.)
post #168 of 560
Quote:
Originally Posted by kerc View Post
Yes, this is the obvious thing to do ... have a scheduled time for meetings that remains the same. We're now the dept of natural sciences with 20+ members. ergo it seems obvious. And it also seems obvious but none of the senior people were willing to go to bat for it that the time for a meeting where you want to accomplish something is not 4pm friday. Personally i prefer 5pm tues, it just sucks for me to find child care (especially so since our 1 after school activity happens on tuesday).

Maybe when she's back Kaybee/Kaybee's dh can help me out with transporting Erin from yoga to home on those few days....
I AM back - yay! I got a month's worth of hugs last night.

And kerc - of course we can help out with transportation - just let me know when your conflicts are. We can help with other 5pm child care issues, too.

We just had a faculty retreat which included the hunt for a new chair. Lots of silence in the room, but we did come away with a nomination of someone who is willing to do it (and two people who said "No Way!").

Lots to do - classes here start next week.
post #169 of 560
Check out the end of the siggy. If you know me IRL, shhh! This will be kept quiet for a couple of months...maybe ummm December....it will be apparent that I'm not drinking at AGU.
post #170 of 560
Congratulations, namaste mom! How wonderful!
~maddymama
post #171 of 560
Waaaahhhhh. I want a do-over of my whole week.

How can I be so tired and feel so overworked yet be so underprepared? It is a mystery.
post #172 of 560
A. Congratulations D! Yay!

B. I'm with Penelope. Today's my long day -- 3 hr lecture + 1 1 hr lecture. I'm woefully underprepared. Luckily I know most of what I'm talking about by heart but I wish I had some fantastic activity for the 3 hour lecture stint. There's always next week.
post #173 of 560
Quote:
Originally Posted by namaste_mom View Post
Check out the end of the siggy. If you know me IRL, shhh! This will be kept quiet for a couple of months...maybe ummm December....it will be apparent that I'm not drinking at AGU.
Congratulations D!

Just made it through the first week of classes (and my son's first week of 1st grade!).

Have a nice weekend everyone
post #174 of 560
Still shocked. We were actively protecting against. BUt...such is life, I'm never prepared for what comes next.
post #175 of 560
Quote:
Originally Posted by namaste_mom View Post
Still shocked. We were actively protecting against. BUt...such is life, I'm never prepared for what comes next.
meet Erin (6) and Leah (3). Ummm, yeah. I just had a discussion with Erin this morning (in regards to some school construction they are doing near our house). It evolved into a discussion about how high school is 8 years away and that's a really long time (certainly I didn't think 8 years ago I'd even have kids yet).
post #176 of 560
Congrats NM!

Those "surprise!" stories terrify me. Seriously, I'm not getting pregnant again. If it means joining a convent, I'm ok with that. I honestly think another pregnancy would land me on a zofran pump and possibly even IV hydration or a feeding tube and um, nope, not going there. (Lest I sound totally paranoid, there's an 80% chance with HG that a subsequent pregnancy will result in more intense HG than not, and I'm definitely on the losing end of that stat this time.) Right now, I'm nursing hopes that things will improve in a week when I hit the 12-week mark. I'll try not to whine too much when that doesn't happen.

We've finished the fourth week of the semester already. Having three online classes is a lot more than I bargained for, in part because they upped the class size to 35. I have close to 100 students, and I'd guess at least 30 of them aren't at all tech savvy and most don't understand the concept of "contact tech support, available 24/7." Another 10% doesn't believe in buying the textbook until the third or fourth week of class, and are shocked that I won't extend the first quiz because they haven't received their book yet. Everyone else seems to be falling in line, thankfully.
post #177 of 560


I'm an academic staff member at a small state school. I'm 67% time with 10 contact hours. I was there last year and they *might* hire someone FT/TT this academic year and several people have hinted they'd like it to be me, including the other geologist and the geographer. (I'm in a science dept but teach geology).

Recently they asked me if I wanted to move offices from the storage closet/prep room off the geology lab. I hesitated because there is a part of me that wanted no one to know when I was coming or going (again I'm PT). But I decided that the personal safety issue is WAY better in the new spot.

I moved this weekend and since then I've been bombarded with people (faculty) asking me to do crap that I'm not paid to do (my FT salary is ~14 or 15 thousand dollars less than a prof with the same load). Am I just supposed to suck it up and do the geology scheduling/write the material for the course catalog/etc.? Is there a polite way to back out of some of it? How should I decide?
post #178 of 560
Quote:
Originally Posted by namaste_mom View Post
Check out the end of the siggy. If you know me IRL, shhh! This will be kept quiet for a couple of months...maybe ummm December....it will be apparent that I'm not drinking at AGU.
congrats and I will gladly join you for a n/a beer or other beverage at agu.
post #179 of 560
Quote:
Originally Posted by kerc View Post


I'm an academic staff member at a small state school. I'm 67% time with 10 contact hours. I was there last year and they *might* hire someone FT/TT this academic year and several people have hinted they'd like it to be me, including the other geologist and the geographer. (I'm in a science dept but teach geology).

Recently they asked me if I wanted to move offices from the storage closet/prep room off the geology lab. I hesitated because there is a part of me that wanted no one to know when I was coming or going (again I'm PT). But I decided that the personal safety issue is WAY better in the new spot.

I moved this weekend and since then I've been bombarded with people (faculty) asking me to do crap that I'm not paid to do (my FT salary is ~14 or 15 thousand dollars less than a prof with the same load). Am I just supposed to suck it up and do the geology scheduling/write the material for the course catalog/etc.? Is there a polite way to back out of some of it? How should I decide?
Oooh, I wouldn't even be polite about it. If it's not in your job description, you shouldn't get stuck with it.

Writing descriptions for your own courses? Sure. For anything else? No. Scheduling? Nope.

IME if you volunteer/say yes, it's your job for life. So being firm now will pay you back tenfold when you're not stuck with a bunch of crap unpaid.
post #180 of 560
kerc - There are pofessors who are assigned those tasks, like updating the catolog. They are totally unloading their responsiblity on you. I would politely decline indicated that your load is very full. I know you want to not burn any bridges so that maybe you can get full time employment but you can only bend so far and take on so much of a load.

Thanks All for the wishing on the pregnancy.

Rock Dr. I'll join you for that n/a beer
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