I forgot to eat lunch and other tales of administration

And Oh My, What a Beautiful Cheese Steak LunchWhen I moved from Higher Ed to K-12, I lamented the days when I barely had time to go to the bathroom.  One year, I had a crazy schedule where I had 7 preps.  I was still in building mode.  The very next year, I hired someone, who took on 4 of those preps.  Life got a little better.

I’m down to one class per semester now, but my life is filled with a lot of meetings, both scheduled and impromptu.  And there’s a lot of email to respond to, and a lot of work in between all that.  I mean, I’m currently overseeing curriculum mapping and development, faculty evaluation, creating reports for board meetings, coordinating an external review, and trying to generally stay current on things.

On the way to school yesterday morning, I reread the chapters I’d assigned to my CyberSecurity class.  I finished that when I got to school.  I checked in with our Middle School Director on some things, and then checked in with my colleague who is taking over for me as Department Chair to fill him in on some things.  Randomly, I had to be Mom and deal with some paperwork for my daughter so I stalked her outside her classroom (benefit of being in the same school).  Somewhere in there I ate a bagel and drank coffee.

And then, I went to one scheduled meeting, had an impromptu one just after, then taught class, then had two more scheduled meetings, and then it was 4:00. There was 15 minutes between class and the first meeting of the afternoon, and I had planned to go grab lunch, but I forgot.  During the first afternoon meeting, I ate some skittles and sour patch kids.  There was 15 minutes between the two afternoon meetings, but I used that time to triage email.

There’s no doubt that the number of meetings I’m in has escalated, but many of them are important and we do get things done.  It’s just hard sometimes to make time for necessities and thinking and writing.  Luckily, days like yesterday happen just once every few weeks.  Every day is busy, but not every day is filled with structured time. In fact, today looks blissfully open.  Maybe I’ll get to those 1400 emails in my inbox.

2 Replies to “I forgot to eat lunch and other tales of administration”

  1. For what its worth, I am not in academia. I work for an educational assessment (i.e., standardized testing) organization. There are too many days where 6-7 hours are nothing but back-to-back-to-back meetings. Many are now held over the common lunch hour. I have found this to be more of a hindrance to communication rather than a help. One reason is that the meetings are often held solely at a management level and the time remaining for getting the information communicated down to individual contributor staff limited. Overall, I see our particular situation as one of organizational dysfunction – a refusal to commit to focused priorities.

    This does not sound like the reason for your meetings. I’m only trying to relay that the time to meet rather than to “do” exists in other worlds too. 🙁

  2. I’ve seen the over-meeting thing happen before. Thankfully, I do sometimes have days that are very wide open.

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