How to be a good and sane professor in a crazy research world
May 23, 2007 9:49 PM Subscribe
I am a new tenure track professor (research uni) in the US. I just finished my first year and feel barely competent in a lot of areas -- ok but not good teaching evals, 3-6 weeks late in paper "deadlines", so many last minute "preparations" for classes or meetings, no good ideas for future research. I need some help figuring out how to better play the game, or to be happier with just getting by. Fellow academics (or others in similar professions), to the bat phone!
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (25 answers total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
This year has been harder than I expected. It's like going from one super Big Gulp of a responsibility to seven or eight Larges, and my tray can only handle three of any size. I need to figure out what responsibilities really are a priority, and what things people (in real life, not in hypothetical perfect world) put on the back burner. Right now, everything is falling apart because it's too much and I'm losing it. I have a major revision to do, but some review deadlines are sooner so those come first (can't disappoint important senior editors), but conference deadlines to get new stuff going are 3 weeks away, and meanwhile students are at my door and grades are due tomorrow and school emails are piling up and classes need to be planned for the Fall (already!) and I have to read the textbooks before that (so my evaluations are a little better next year) and promises for lunch with research contacts have been made and I still have email 'are you alive?' messages 3 months old already from friends to reply to, and my god this all just makes me wish I drank. I am mentally overwhelmed and so my mind is shutting down, and that's not helping much. How the heck do people do it? What are the right and wrong moves? What are the tricks? Is software or a magic gadget the answer? This is a trial by drowning, and I'm hoping that the Metafilter crowd can make it easier. For reasons obvious to any academic, I can't be too open and honest with the local crowd since they determine my future and image means a lot. Please help me create a competant, if not accomplished, image so in a couple years I will be one of those awing the new hires, instead of the cautionary tale I currently am reading Metafilter all day hiding in my office behind closed door with the lights off.