I am tired. Dog tired. We’re nearing the end of the semester, but not so near that I can see the light at the end of my tunnel of meetings. I’ve been traveling every weekend for the last month, the house needs to be cleaned, the laundry done, the fridge stocked, and the email responded to. And instead I have nothing but meetings all day. Job candidates, seminar candidates, prospective student meetings, end of year committee meetings, advisory board meetings and dinners, graduate recruiting meetings, task force meetings…

I also have two papers that I need to get out. How to schedule in time for them when you are not *allowed* to say no to these meetings? And you’re too conscientious to just skip the darn things altogether?

I admit to getting snippish. Snappish. Actually, pretty pissy, to be honest. Even the beautiful blossoms coming out here in West Lafayette and the beautiful weather aren’t improving my mood. I know it will get better. But for now I’m going to keep my head down a bit longer until I can at least see the light at the end of the tunnel. Which probably won’t be until May…



  1. #1 Lab Lemming
    April 24, 2008

    Work on papers during the dull parts of the meeting.

  2. #2 Andrea Grant
    April 24, 2008

    Sending good thoughts your way!

    I second the divided attention option. I’ve recently been informed our department seminars are mandatory so I bring along a chapter of my thesis to read/proof/revise while I sit in the back….

  3. #3 Anne
    April 24, 2008

    No advice, but lots of sympathy.

  4. #4 Mad Hatter
    April 24, 2008

    “I admit to getting snippish. Snappish. Actually, pretty pissy, to be honest.”

    I had one of those days yesterday. I can tell it’s time to get the hell out of lab for a while when everything anyone says annoys me, and I find myself putting headphones on with no music just to discourage people from interrupting me while I work.

    Hope you’re having a better day today. Hang in there!

  5. #5 ScienceMama
    April 24, 2008

    I know how you feel. I could be so much more productive if it weren’t for all the “extra” responsibilites…

  6. #6 guppygeek
    April 24, 2008

    And I thought I was the only one who had the odd Late-April Early May disgruntlement syndrome! One year I cried for a whole day, but still don’t know why, though your post give a hint. Today I yelled at my husband (which I never do), then cried, and then two hours later yelled at my dean (who deserved it; I should do that more often; made me feel better somehow about the marital yelling). So yes, I feel the same way this time of year! And gee, it is a whole year since I got that paper rejected and have not resubmitted it!

  7. #7 kamote
    April 25, 2008

    Hey girl,

    Hope today is better. You are definitely not alone – I wasted most of yesterday attempting to use a plastic spoon to cut through tons of red tape in order to get (international) plane tickets to a conference I don’t even really want to go to. And I didn’t even finish the process because someone took off early for the weekend – so now it’s postponed until Monday.

    Not like, you know, I have a mountain of grading and data analysis to do… 😛

    Take good care and hang in there!

  8. #8 Marie
    April 26, 2008

    You know, I used to think I wasn’t *allowed* to skip things either. Four years later, after a brutal semester that involved the flu and some serious colds, I’ve started using the “no” word on a regular basis. The effects won’t start showing up until this summer and next year, but it’s at least making a small (albeit hard to detect) impact on my sanity. I finally realized, when I looked around, that while people want you to think you’re not allowed to say “no” and miss things they consider “must-dos,” in reality, no one gets ostracized for such behavior if you’re relatively nice about it and participate in one or two key things occasionally.

    And the bottom line is that, at least at my research-intensive institution, if your research record is really solid and you’ve been generally nice to the people you work with, they’re not going to turn you down for tenure because you missed lots of meetings along the way. But if your research record is weak, it doesn’t matter how many other things you said “yes” to and showed up for – you’re kinda hosed.

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