Thursday, October 30, 2014

semi-end

The last papers for my teaching subjects were today. For the record, i'm quite satisfied with what was tested and how it was tested, though inevitably some students still were unable to cope. We'll just have to wait and see how the results turn out. I still feel the same level of worry and stress over how the paper will turn out as i did when i had my first batch of graduating students though. Guess it's part and parcel of what to expect in the years to come.

A few years ago i'd have thought that the end of the final exams and the start of the holidays for the students would mean that things would start to wind down. Am certainly much the wiser now, and perhaps also much more able to tackle the final wave of work before the true holidays start. Nevertheless, it's going to be a long three weeks ahead.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

red season

It's full swing into marking season again (the so-called off-season seeming to have gotten shorter and shorter). As of late, in an attempt to do something purposeful apart from school-related stuff, I've been borrowing a book from the library every six weeks or so (or however long the maximum loan period is) and trying to read it during my free moments (which nowadays mainly would be the time spent waiting for and riding in public transport). However, the demise of the aforementioned off-season has put that plan to rest, at least for now, as it's back to marking on the bus or train while valiantly trying to keep my marking hand synchronized with each jerk and turn of the vehicle. Somehow i doubt that's an image that will be making its way to any recruitment ads anytime soon.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Getting itchy?

When the posts here are limited to one a month, appear predictably towards the end of each month, and consist mainly of random cryptic fluff, you know it's been busy days. Or weeks. Actually, make that months.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

indulgent

Eating too much?

Not enough exercise?

Just getting older?

Hoping for the least of the three evils =P

Thursday, June 26, 2014

bitten

So we're reaching the end of yet another school holiday period, with just days to go before it's back to the reality of work. I was tempted initially to call it a 'holiday', but in all honesty i did get a somewhat decent break, though of course as usual it was hardly long enough. Ideally, i'd have an extended period of time abroad coupled with a similarly extended period of time simply relaxing back at home. Given the limited duration of the holiday though, i'd have to be content with just one of those. And i'll never pass up an opportunity to travel, which means that i yet again missed out on spending enough quality time back here. Even though i'd made a conscious effort to arrive back here with some days to spare before having to get back to work, i ended up spending much of my free time recovering from the effects of the travel (alas, that's just me feeling my age, i suppose).

I do have Friday and the weekend left, though i do need these days to do some work, if i'm planning to meet at least some of my deadlines and not make next week a thoroughly miserable one. It's going to be a challenge though, as i can hardly get into the right frame of mind. We'll see how things will go..

Saturday, May 31, 2014

net loss

For sure they did not have this in mind when designing the structure of the school year here, but somehow it seems as though the past 21.5 weeks (two terms of ten weeks + three extra days and one week of March 'holidays') has just about done it for me, such that today i find myself at home essentially wasting time while trying to decide on what to do (there's always stuff to do, but with the marking season over, what exactly i need to do becomes less concrete), not having managed to do anything yet, while in just about every previous Saturday this year i would have found myself stationed in some cafe with a (rather) affordable drink that would hopefully warrant my presence there for hours on end, getting some form of work done (as i find myself far less inefficient - very deliberate choice of words there - than i would at home).

In keeping with the spirit of the aforementioned March 'holidays', next week i'll still find myself in school for every working day, no doubt trying to squeeze out every last ounce of energy and willpower i have to last me through before the actual June holiday. Speaking of the June holiday, i must say that i'm rather apprehensive about it because i've yet to plan anything to do with the trip yet with a week left to go, which is a first, as normally i'd at least have some accommodation and itinerary matters settled after finally finding some time to take my focus away temporarily from work to get some planning done. This time though, the amount and complexity of work up till now and continuing from here, has really been unprecedented, hence my current unintentional 'as the wind takes me' approach. I hope that i'll at least have some chance to recharge during the holiday, lest i end up in a worse state than this when i come back just in time for another hard half-year slog. Don't know how to look at this positively in terms of my ability to last beyond a couple more years..

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Productivity Pressures

With the first of May just a couple of hours away, the Labour Day messages have been coming in. I haven't bothered to read any of them, but it's safe to say that one major theme, at least from the messages from any government/government-linked body would be that of productivity, or more specifically, the need to boost it.

Whenever i encounter such calls to increased productivity, inevitably my eyes roll (though granted cynical me rolls my eyes at plenty of things). I do not doubt the validity and urgency of such calls at the national level (in any case, i'm far from qualified to be able to pass any judgement), but at least when i think of my own example, increased productivity just doesn't seem like a viable and sustainable option. I'm very aware of my own failings, which include being highly inefficient and lacking focus when it comes to vital matters such as marking and setting of papers. However, i can't help but feel that i draw upon those wasted moments for energy in order to keep myself going, especially given the sheer number of tasks that there are to complete at any one time, which really take a lot out of me. In other words, if i were, by some miracle of nature, to become extremely focused and productive in my work, i doubt i could even last beyond this year before succumbing to burnout.

Something to think about as i prepare for another day of labour this Labour Day.