Posts Tagged ‘Meetings’

I’m not sure how your internal clock works, but I personally know that I’m in the midst of a busy semester when I find myself looking forward to the day after Thanksgiving because I’ll be able to sleep in and, upon waking, do something not related to work.  This is sad both because Thanksgiving is so far away and because there is a likelihood that I will, in fact, have some work-related tasks to accomplish that day.  Regardless, my time this semester has been filled with the usual class prep, the new experiences of committee work and advising, and hours upon hours of meetings with students.  This final point has led me to realize that spending so much time meeting with students is making me a bad professor.

On Thursday of this week, for example, I had planned to spend most of my time preparing for class on Friday and Monday (the upside of three-day-a-week classes is that if you have enough of them your schedule appears clear on the other two days).  Those plans were in place before I gave an exam back that I also encouraged students to meet with me to discuss.  The result is five meetings with students spread far enough apart that students shouldn’t have to wait in the hall to speak to me but not so far apart that I can get any real work done between them.  This leaves me with less time to prepare for my classes on Friday and pushes some necessary work on research to Thursday evening and preparation for Monday’s class into the weekend.  In the end, I will likely spend less time preparing for class than I otherwise would have, so my presentation of class information will probably suffer and I will need to spend more time meeting with students to make up for the deficiencies caused by meeting with students.

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I was recently reminded of my reflections on academic behavior by Tenured Radical’s recent admission that:

As it turned out, I was unable to sit through a meeting that bored me without fidgeting, texting, whispering to my neighbor, and going on Facebook repeatedly to update all my “friends” (many of whom were in the room) about my status. Status as what? Status as a middle-aged person who has utterly lost patience with meetings? Status as someone who has utterly lost hir manners?

I have to admit that there have been times in the past year where I sent text messages during faculty meetings – usually to let my wife know that I was not going to be home anywhere near the expected time.  I find it interesting, though, that Tenured Radical blames Facebook for her behavior:

If it were not for the mileage I get for this blog from being on Facebook, I would definitely punish myself by canceling my account, since my behavior yesterday seems like de facto proof of cerebral and personality changes that have been wrought by this particular form of new media. I wasn’t even able to sit there quietly reading The Atlantic on my iPhone, which is the kind of non-disruptive behavior that many fifth graders with ADD have mastered.

As I’ve said before, I strongly believe that the bad use of technology is a symptom, not the disease.

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