What do professors do all day? What does their normal work week look like during the semester? Mark Cheathem has a nice post trying to explain it all. Here is a taste:
Last year, I wrote a two-part series describing what the life of a history professor involved for our department blog. Kansas State University English professor Philip Nel went even further, chronicling a week in his life. (Make sure you read each day’s post.)
I applaud him for making several important points, including these two: 1) professors typically don’t teach for a couple of hours and then take the rest of the day off; and 2) professors don’t spend their summers relaxing on the beach. (If you know a professor who does these things, please report them to the Professor Awareness Team, which stands against these practices.)
Outside of course preparation, grading, and actual classroom time, my week is filled with administrative meetings and paperwork, student appointments/conferences, and speaking engagements. The time committed to most of these duties varies, of course, so some weeks are less full than others. Professional service (grant and manuscript reviews, book reviews, etc.) takes away a few more hours. What’s left of my workweek is spent researching and writing. Often, many of the above responsibilities bleed into the evenings and weekends at home, although I’ve been more careful about that separation recently. Throw in conference attendance and trips to archives, and I probably work close to what Nel calculated as his usual hours during the academic year.
This is so true. Here is what the end of my week has looked like:
8:30: Meeting with my Dean and Provost about assessment.
9:45: Radio interview for Was America Founded as a Christian Nation
10:15: Meeting with the director of teacher education to discuss a student’s performance
10:45-12:15: Class: Early American Republic
12:30: Meeting with my Dean about scheduling issues for the history department
1:30: Podcast interview with Westminster/Knox Press
2:30: Meeting with members of the teacher education committee to discuss the progress of a student teacher, (Meeting canceled)
2:30-4:00pm: Grading papers for upcoming History Day competition and reading for an independent study I am doing with a student.
6:30-8:30pm: Bethany Village talk.
7:00am-9:30: Reading for independent study course.
10:30-11:30: Prepping for luncheon talk today
11:30-12:45: Discussion of Confessing History at School of Humanities luncheon
1:00: Radio interview
1:30-2:30: Independent study meeting with student
2:30-4:00: Judging History Day papers
5:00-11:00: Book talk and signing in Doylestown, PA
Saturday (All day)
South Central Pennsylvania regional history day competition at Messiah College.
You do the math.
This is a great post. I know this in theory, but it's nice to see it laid out in concrete detail.
And I want to do this for a living why? 🙂