Heading Out

Seeking the winds that help to sail on Shakespeare's tide.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Spending time

So I started to meander around looking to see what fun other folk have been having while I was away and found profgrrrl, Dr. H and others putting together the hours that they spend on different things during the week. It used to be one of my pet soap boxes. Not about the number of hours we have to spend, but because at this place we fill out a form each semester that has to divide effort by percentages and must add up to 100%.

Now this is a bit of a problem for those of us who do Federally funded research since the Government has this form you have to fill out that says that you spend a certain amount of hours a week on their problem and that this is charged as a certain percentage of your time (usually based on a 40-hour week). Well most faculty work around 56 hours a week so when you are trying to squeeze this into the equation you occasionally find that you are putting down that you spend 10% of your time teaching a 3-hour class which, as we all know is a figment. And so we are forced by our Admin to lie, or to write disclaimers on the form that the University lawyer does not find amusing at all. Currently we are all pretending that this problem has gone away, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

Over the years, and oddly usually in February, I keep track of how I spend a month - which since I have an Administrative component to what I do is informative, since it rarely stays the same from year to year. Its a fairly rough measure but quite revealing if done honestly (and no-one else ever gets to see it). When I started I felt guilty about the amount of time I spent reading and it may have changed my habits since I don't read journals as much as I did. It is something worth doing if you have a Day-timer or similar on your desk to scribble in.

As for today we met the Belgians early and were able to give them signed agreements before they left at 10 to fly back. We start the work on Monday - so there will be a meeting tomorrow to assign staff to different projects and to make sure we don't short change any of the faculty or any of the other ongoing work. Then it was helping a new faculty to write his first proposal here, then a note for the folks in Michigan - there is some confusion as to whether we should have started work yet. A monthly report for the folks from Ohio and I decided it was time for an early day (at 4 pm).

The evening has been spent burning CD's of some of the taped music I had transferred to itunes (and thence to the ipod) since the only locale for that effort was on the hard drive of the iMac that died the other week. It being resurrected I am now backing up 25 gig of music - so if I am not seen for the next week or so . . . . . . .

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