On the surface, the challenges of academic life seem to mostly involve productivity and time management: meeting deadlines, maintaining a regular writing practice, and balancing conferences, teaching, publishing, and service work. These responsibilities certainly demand our time and attention, but the most difficult part of academic life is sometimes pulling back, and reflecting on the “why” of it all. Why are we working at a harried pace, and within systems that often erase and dehumanize people of color, queer people, women, and those of us with disabilities? Whose expectations are our efforts serving? Our reading this weekend centers on strategies for self-reflection, and the ways that they can help us serve ourselves and our communities better.
We may not be able to help being busy, but we should be wary of participating in the glorification of the over-scheduled life.
Working outside of a traditional office can be liberating. But with this flexibility it becomes especially important to set boundaries and take care of yourself.
Academia requires the stamina for long-term work, and there are many strategies out there for making the most of your time. But rarely do we discuss the grief that can come from letting go of a project you’ve been working on for years, and how to heal and move forward.
The first year of work as a faculty member brings important lessons about who you are as a scholar and an educator.
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