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Professor mamas 2011 - Page 8

post #141 of 196
Thread Starter 
Oh, geez I feel like I dropped off the face of the planet.

Online portfolio went really well...used google docs. But then school strews and well, didn't get any of my dissertation done between the portfolio and moving and lack of childcare. Ugh

Now fall break, should be spent on dissertation, will probably be spent catching up on grading. I've got 3 new preps essentially because of new books. But next semester is lookin like a sweet schedule, I am psyched. Cross your fingers for me that my offerings all run! No new preps, no new book, and possibly a day off campus to devote to my dissertation.

I submitted an abstract to a national conference for a contributed paper session that happens to meet nearby and it got accepted! I am in shock, like sooooo excited. And I am going to present at another conference all the way in OR. So I have a busy winter break with both of those. The Oregon trip I will bring my 18 mo old since my brother and his wife offered to babysit while I am at conference. I am flying in a couple days early to have some visit time and it ends up being $120 cheaper to do so. But none of this helps my dissertation...


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post #142 of 196

Lisa I've been meaning to post. I'll shoot you an email. I'm thinking I'll have time to breathe tomorrow.... Right after I get to chat with my kids' class about coal. It's Earth Science week you know and I got a note last week that said in social studies they were going to be talking about coal and transport of coal. Kaybee's out of town and someone had to step in and be the geologist who knows how it forms and bring a piece for kids to pass around (her son's in my daughter's class).

 

Life is really busy and mixed in my neck of the woods. I had some really crummy things happen at work (rude, inappropriate comments from male coworkers; someone snatched my space I had claimed in the common storage room and then claimed it wasn't him; demands for extra service from me (vs. my male colleague who is more experienced and also in need of service projects etc. etc.). The same old crap women have been complaining about for years in academia. Good: I was talking about the value of taking classes outside your major with my chiropractor and she mentioned how her student was raving about a climatology class at my school (taught by me, but chiro didn't know that). Also good: I think I have a new research direction that is sketching itself out to replace the highly technical, high cost one I worked on for my dissertation. 

post #143 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by Realrellim View Post

The problem? My youngest is only 18 months old and the institution is at least a good hour's drive away. It would mean massive changes in our current arrangement because even if I tried to be on campus only four days each week, those would be long days with the commute. It's not possible to move there because DH is up for tenure at a different university in a different direction and he already has a 30-45 minute commute as it is.
So it seems like the answer is obvious: this is not a good option for me at this time (not to mention the fact that um, I have yet to actually publish anything from my dissertation whistling.gif ) but it's aggravating the fact that I feel like I *should* be applying and more productive than I am, while still wanting to be more involved with my daughters because people tell me that all too soon they'll be grown up.
And yet, that would be such a sweet position--especially if they finally do put in some sort of rail line between Denver and Fort Collins. Ack.

I want to strongly suggest that you give it a serious shot.

 

One hour is no picnic, but it's not bad at all.

 

My husband's teaching position is one hour away, and mine is 45 minutes away, and it works out pretty well. My husband did this commute all throughout the time that he was tenure track, and he still managed to get tenure. (My daughter was born only 9 months after he started his tenure track appointment.)

 

I have a co-worker.  For more than ten years, she lived an hour away, and we're not talking about expressways.  We are talking about ultra-rural one lane country roads that get treacherous in the winter.  She and her husband lived within walking distance of her husband's teaching job.  After ten years, she got fed up and they moved to a location about halfway between, so 45 minutes for each spouse.  But she did manage it for ten years. But yes, it is much better for her now.

 

The new assistant professor (tenure track) in the office next to mine lives 1.5 hours away. She has a 7 year old son, and a baby that is about the same age as yours.

 

You have more options than you think.  First of all, the commute might not be as bad as you imagine it to be.  Second of all, depending on the individual dynamics of your family, perhaps moving so that your husband has a longer commute might not be entirely out of the question. There are many fathers who are tenure track who have more than at 45 minute commute.  Third, if you don't move closer to your (hopefully) future institution right now, maybe it would be reasonable to move closer to your institution after your husband gets tenure. So I suggest that you at least give it a try, and re-evaluate it after a couple of years.  You may very well find that the benefits outweigh the disadvantages of the commute.

 

--

 

Oh, I'll end this post with a totally inappropriate word of advice.  My husband drinks a lot of coffee, so one very late night, in the middle of his one hour drive home, nature called him with extreme urgency (if you get my meaning).  Everything was closed, so he got out of the car to relieve himself by the side of the road, and that's when he discovered that he had locked himself out of the car.  Even worse, for some reason, he had left his cell phone in his car.  (This I still don't understand to this very day, because he constantly wears his cell phone on his person.)  So, with no way to call me or anyone for help, he had no choice but to trek a while (couple miles?) by foot to a house (farm?), where he was fortunate enough to find someone to take pity on him and help him.  (I don't remember the exact details, maybe they helped him break into his car?)  I think the weather was on the very chilly side. So my husband came home at some insanely late hour that night, and had to essentially turn around and go back to teach the next morning's classes, with no sleep.  So don't do THAT, if you decide to undertake this commute.  :D
 

 

post #144 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by emilysmama View Post



Oh, I'll end this post with a totally inappropriate word of advice.  My husband drinks a lot of coffee, so one very late night, in the middle of his one hour drive home, nature called him with extreme urgency (if you get my meaning).  Everything was closed, so he got out of the car to relieve himself by the side of the road, and that's when he discovered that he had locked himself out of the car.  Even worse, for some reason, he had left his cell phone in his car.  (This I still don't understand to this very day, because he constantly wears his cell phone on his person.)  So, with no way to call me or anyone for help, he had no choice but to trek a while (couple miles?) by foot to a house (farm?), where he was fortunate enough to find someone to take pity on him and help him.  (I don't remember the exact details, maybe they helped him break into his car?)  I think the weather was on the very chilly side. So my husband came home at some insanely late hour that night, and had to essentially turn around and go back to teach the next morning's classes, with no sleep.  So don't do THAT, if you decide to undertake this commute.  :D
 

 

biglaugh.gif Awesome! My mom once started the car to warm it up and then got out to brush off the snow, but she accidentally locked the door in doing so. She'd been taking a night class and was able to find a pay phone (back in those pre-cell phone days) and called us. At least the car was nice and warm by the time she got back in. lol.gif

I am applying. So are two of my colleagues, if not more, but that's to be expected.

In completely depressing, the-old-boys-club-still-exists news, it turns out that having a child in the middle semester did, in fact, come back to get me.

At the time, my supervisor and I made all the plans, knowing that I'd have her mid-semester. We were teaching identical sections of the same class; I synced my syllabus with his, wrote up notes and posted all of that online, wrote all of my tests and made enough copies for all the students and had those waiting in my file cabinet. I told him about where everything was; I continually told my students what to expect, that the notes were posted, etc. After I had J, I continued to grade all of their written assignments (which they turned in online). After six weeks we chatted: the semester had another 1.5 weeks to go and I offered to return and finish up. He said I didn't need to. His wife was due late in the semester, so I also offered to give the final; he said it wasn't necessary (and ended up asking for someone to proctor it because his wife gave birth only a day or two before it). Also, he ignored the tests I'd left and just used his own, which seemed fine because he was already giving a test to his own section anyhow.

And that was that; I returned to my usual schedule in the fall when J was 5 months old.

Then, out of the blue, my class load was reduced from three classes to one; my dept chair told me it was because they hired some new FT people and they needed to teach some extra classes. I found it odd that I was the only one who lost two classes and all the other adjuncts had their usual load, but figured ok, whatever--I can't think of anything that's gone down lately, and it's way too late for the whole maternity leave thing to be counting against me now, right? Seems like teaching my regular load for two semesters now would prove that I'm a serious professional and all that.

Wrong.

Apparently said supervisor wasn't going to give me any classes. I ended up with one only because the department chair stepped in, and a colleague heard something about my supervisor not liking the way my maternity leave was handled.

shake.gif

Based on the conversation with my colleague, I don't think it has anything to do with how it was actually handled. It seems to be about perceptions, and we've seen that play out in other areas. Also, it is very difficult to communicate with him, and everyone has experienced that on various levels.

Sigh.

There's nothing to be done really (not least because it was just a comment), but I'm seriously annoyed. And depressed that we have to keep fighting the same battles over and over.

(No worries. I have every intention of letting him know that I'm available and interested in teaching more than one class next semester. I was going to do that anyhow, so this just gives me added impetus.)
post #145 of 196

Lisa - so sorry you have to deal with that!  It sounds like you bent over backwards to make your maternity leave work as smoothly as possible, going above and beyond what many of us would or could do.  I hope your other colleagues realize that!  

 

Good luck with the job application - as emilysmama pointed out, there are lots of ways to deal with a long commute.  

post #146 of 196

May I join this thread?  I am an old MDC member with a new tenure track (community college) job, but I really need support.  Is it always such a roller coaster?  Some days I feel on top of the world.  I have the dream job that I love.  I am an awesome teacher.  Then I feel horrible.  I have no idea what I am doing.  I am not at all up to the task of teaching.  What I do does not help my students at all, and I'm deceiving my colleagues that I know that I am doing. There is no way I will get tenure.  Am I crazy?

 

I said I would never think something was more important than my children.  But it turns out that I love my career!  Of course it is not an either/or choice, but it is not as easy as when I had a job I didn't care about, where I just sacrificed the job because I knew time with kids mattered more.  I am so grateful, yet so devastated for this.  Due to circumstances beyond my control, I must support my family.  How lucky am I to have  a job I love where I can do this, without selling my soul?!?!?  At the same time, I feel more pressure than ever.  I am a high achieving person.  I feel that stressing out--caring about things--worrying enough to reach the best--is part of what got me where I am.  But I know I have never been under this much pressure.  Prepping--grading--being observed in a department that cares deeply about teaching and student engagement.  Doing committee work, in areas that I am fortunate enough to care about, but take so much time.

 

More than anything, I need someone to identify who doesn't think I am crazy, who knows academia.  Is this a hard point in the semester?  I'm reaching out and hoping someone will reach back.

post #147 of 196

Yes! to all of what you posted.

 

It is a hard balance. I have a second year review coming up and one of my personal reflections is about finding balance -- between teaching, research and service AND between all that and my life. I have two papers all but done and they need that final one percent and dang it's Friday already and no paper writing yet this week.

post #148 of 196
kerc--So how do you find the balance?

This semester has been very difficult, balance-wise, despite the fact that I'm only teaching one class. My children have been particularly soul-sucking in recent weeks, so that's part of it. If I could find a way to chill out more quickly after a difficult evening, the rest of the night could be more productive.
post #149 of 196

Welcome kreyno!  

 

I don't have any answers, but I agree that this is a difficult part of the semester!  I spent most of my college and graduate school career on the quarter system, so round about week 10, I'm ready to be done.  Couple that with zero days off between the start of classes and Thanksgiving day, and I'm usually beat about now.  

 

Regarding everything else, I agree that it's a difficult balance.  I love what I do, but it frustrates me when it gets in the way of enjoying my family.  I have to let things slide sometimes and it drives me nuts that I'm now the person who says "yea, I'll take care of that" and then I forget or get overwhelmed and can't get it done.  I've learned to be more selective of what I say "yea" to.  

 

One thing that helps me is to remember that there are lots of us who are stretched thin, and try to look like we have it all together even though it feels like everything is falling apart.  This includes many (most?) of your colleagues, too.  So you aren't alone!

 

I'm in a breather after a morning of crazy lecture prep followed by class followed by proposal submission.  I feel exhausted. 

post #150 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaybee View Post


I'm in a breather after a morning of crazy lecture prep followed by class followed by proposal submission.  I feel exhausted. 



Let's grab a beer before you pick up your kids!

post #151 of 196

Thanks for the welcome and kind words!  I'm feeling a little better.  I think that a lot of my stress was from being observed by colleagues I really respect in a very teaching-focused department.  No matter how I try to relax--and people tell me to relax--that stresses me out!  Only one more observation to go for this year. 

 

I'm glad to join this thread!

post #152 of 196

Hey all!  Approaching the end of another semester - only 3 weeks of instructional time left.  15 week semesters just seem like the wrong length.... to long for attention spans, not long enough for all of the competencies that I have to hit.  Sigh.  Working on take-home exams for three of my four classes to be handed out the Monday/Tuesday of Thanksgiving - hoping that it buys me some time for instruction. 

 

I only have 2 classes next semester - if anyone sees a listing for online biology/anatomy/physiology/environmental science/basic math instructors, let me know.  LOL.  I'd like to pick up a couple class to help with cash flow.  Teaching 3 classes in the 8 weeks session next summer.  Still looking for full time.

 

and Welcome to kreyno4! 

 

Still working on balance.  Having some days where I feel completely unprepared and others where I'm ready.  I really need one day in my week when I can be not mentally at home and completely in the zone for teaching/grading.

post #153 of 196

I do not feel like my semester is winding down yet.  I give my final the afternoon of Dec. 21st.  Blerg.

 

Dh is gone for 2 weeks.  My MIL came to visit yesterday and we talked her into staying an extra night to help with kid logistics today. She won't be around long enough to help with kid logistics the day I teach from 2-6.  Luckily, I have a TA who can take over when I have to run out the door to pick everyone up. 

 

I need that Thanksgiving break now!

post #154 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaybee View Post

I do not feel like my semester is winding down yet.  I give my final the afternoon of Dec. 21st.  Blerg.

 

Dh is gone for 2 weeks.  My MIL came to visit yesterday and we talked her into staying an extra night to help with kid logistics today. She won't be around long enough to help with kid logistics the day I teach from 2-6.  Luckily, I have a TA who can take over when I have to run out the door to pick everyone up. 

 

I need that Thanksgiving break now!



 

Call us if you need help. 

 

Also cannot see thanksgiving soon enough. 

 

How.s this for balance?: coworker's wife had a baby last week. When I knew she was (march) I offered to fill in for a week. He said no, I don.t need anything. ..... Today he asked me if I could teach for him on friday, because he has a pre planned field trip Friday. Friday the kids have a half day, so I am going to tell him no....he asked me just four hours after .i promised my kids I would do something fun friday.  Why do I feel so guilty? 

post #155 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by kerc View Post





 

Call us if you need help. 

 

Also cannot see thanksgiving soon enough. 

 

How.s this for balance?: coworker's wife had a baby last week. When I knew she was (march) I offered to fill in for a week. He said no, I don.t need anything. ..... Today he asked me if I could teach for him on friday, because he has a pre planned field trip Friday. Friday the kids have a half day, so I am going to tell him no....he asked me just four hours after .i promised my kids I would do something fun friday.  Why do I feel so guilty? 

Because women have been socialized to feel guilty for not doing something when a man asks, despite all of our intellectual and objective knowledge that he is the one being unreasonable?

For real though, poor planning on his part.... Enjoy your day with the girls. smile.gif

The semester is winding down here too. I canceled class on the last day because it's the evening of R's winter concert for orchestra and choir. Unfortunately, the final is scheduled for the evening of her winter program. greensad.gif I'd really hoped they'd put it on Thursday instead of Tuesday, which would mean I was missing part of her birthday instead, but that seemed better, yk? Our final starts and 5 and her program starts at 6 so if traffic and weather are on my side and no one takes unusually long, I should still get to see some of it. Perhaps I'll make the final a little shorter to help things along....
post #156 of 196

Hi all. Just wanted to post a follow-up to my earlier note about having 3 kids on the tenure track... Thanks to all who responded!! I guess we're taking the plunge--I just got a BFP last week and am due with #3 in July! GULP. Guess this is a good incentive to get some serious writing done before then? If only all this grading and search-committee work would go away...

post #157 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by XanaduMama View Post

Hi all. Just wanted to post a follow-up to my earlier note about having 3 kids on the tenure track... Thanks to all who responded!! I guess we're taking the plunge--I just got a BFP last week and am due with #3 in July! GULP. Guess this is a good incentive to get some serious writing done before then? If only all this grading and search-committee work would go away...

 

Congratulations, Sarah!

post #158 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by XanaduMama View Post

Hi all. Just wanted to post a follow-up to my earlier note about having 3 kids on the tenure track... Thanks to all who responded!! I guess we're taking the plunge--I just got a BFP last week and am due with #3 in July! GULP. Guess this is a good incentive to get some serious writing done before then? If only all this grading and search-committee work would go away...



Yay new baby!

post #159 of 196

Ok all. I'm jumping. I'm tired of the adjunct treadmill and really need some income continuity in my life.  I'm sprucing up my resume and working on my cover letter template.  I've got a few potentials that want a statement of teaching philosophy in the cover letter... Any suggestions?  I'm applying at 2 year community colleges.  My primary interest is teaching.  I love learning new material, but am not particularly interested in research, IYKWIM.

 

Has anyone sat on a search committee that could give me some tips???

 

TIA.

post #160 of 196
Haven't yet managed a full-time position much less been on a search committee, but it sounds like you'll want to look at colleges with an emphasis on teaching--probably smaller, private ones.

******

I have a different career-related question. This week I attended a lecture by a well-known name in the field (one who teaches at Harvard). At the reception afterward I had a chance to talk with her (an unexpected chance I should note, as I was waiting to talk to someone much less famous in that circle!) and I managed to come across like a moron. bag.gif

Part of the problem is that I'm an adjunct at a no-name college. Part of the problem is that I'm part-time. Part of the problem is that when people follow up about whether I'm looking for a full-time position at the institution I've been teaching at for ten years, my answer is no. (I have a good follow-up, which is essentially that while I think the mission of the college is incredibly valuable, it's not a good fit for my long-term career interests.) And the biggest problem is that rather than managing to steer the conversation away from teaching and part-time work to what I am accomplishing (as meager as it might be), I mumbled something about having two little ones at home. duh.gif

In the grand scheme of things it's not a big deal. I don't think I'll ever be in the circle of people to teach at big-name universities and I don't want that anyhow. I mostly wanted to network with other musicologists in the area, keep myself visible, etc. Also, I wanted to introduce myself in person to someone I'd been connected to through another colleague, which is how I accidentally found myself face to face with the big-name Harvard prof. (It probably says something about my mindset and lack of sleep that I found myself standing next to her before I realized who it was. And it was a stupid mistake because the Harvard prof was the advisor to the woman I was waiting to introduce myself to (yep, she's a Harvard grad...it was the first time I've felt lame about being a CU-Boulder PhD...maybe I should have done the U of Chicago bit after all). Anyhow.

The point of the babbling is this: any tips for spinning the conversation away from my pathetic one class a semester situation into the fact that I'm (supposedly) working part-time strategically as a way to focus more on my research? I have an article under review, submitted two papers to a joint national conference and am presenting at a regional one this month. I have another article nearly finished and several more ideas in the queue. I'm just struggling with the right elevator speech. Any tips are appreciated!
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