Academic Life Summed Up in One Image

7 Dec

27992_10200214960521597_78591186_nAnd this is the life of an academic. Some brilliant person on the internets has summed it up in one nice image.

It’s hilarious because it is so true.

One of the biggest struggles, for me anyway, is to figure out how to balance having a million ongoing tasks, none of which ever seem complete. You finish one pile of grading just before your class hands in another assignment. You finish one draft of an article, get feedback from your writing group, and go back and rip it apart. You clean out your email inbox one day, and then watch another deluge come through the next morning.

Yes, I guess there are accomplishments– points when things are actually done. Finished. Complete. There is some level of completeness when you publish an article. Although you really ought to have another already drafted… so the cycle continues. Maybe it’s when you publish a book? But by the time you see it in print, you’ve got other research going on. It’s a ongoing cycle of grading, writing, research etc.

So we have to make our own completion points, and feel a sense of accomplishment whenever we can. Hey, I taught two clases yesterday and went to two meetings, so when I got home, I celebrated by doing nothing. I’m about to clean out my inbox for the night, and will celebrate my brief moment of “caught-up” by watching a movie.

In short, we have to take “caught up” wherever we can find it.

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