Brian Spears

Poet, Editor, Teacher, Blogger.

Time Card: Day 1

6:15 – 6:45 a.m. Answered student emails from overnight

7:30 – 9:10 a.m. Office hours–downloaded poetry papers, reviewed what I’ll be covering in class today, worked on prospective class for Fall semester

9:10 – 9:30 a.m. Walk to class, stopping along the way for a Diet Dr. Pepper and to use the toilet. Does this count as work time or travel time?

9:30 – 10:50 a.m. Teach my first class of the day. Am I allowed to count friendly banter as work time?

10:50 – 11:00 a.m. Because I’m teaching in the same room and don’t have to walk across campus, I use this time to answer student questions, give make-up quizzes, and maybe squeeze in responses to frantic student emails. Seriously–dealing with student email makes up a minimum of two hours a day, sometimes more.

11:00 a.m. – 12:20 p.m. Second class of the day. Ended five minutes early, but spent said five minutes answering questions about whether or not student papers made it through or if they were eaten alive by Blackboard, aka the Worst Program Ever Designed.

12:20 – 12:45 Ate lunch and caught up on non-work email, by which I mean I read it and set it aside. I didn’t actually have time to answer any of it. That’ll come later, I guess.

12:45 – 2:00 p.m. Office hours don’t officially start until 1:00, but I have to negotiate the broken printer/copier so I’ll have a handout for my 2:00 class. Assuming no students show up, I’ll have time to prep for that class and either grade some papers–I got 72 of them between Tuesday and today–or prep for my poetry workshop tomorrow morning.

As of right now, I’m at 6 hours 25 minutes for the day (without counting the walk to class). I still have an 80 minute class to teach, 40 minutes of office hours after that, and then either grading or class prep after I get home tonight. I’ll post this now and then update it before I go to bed tonight. Bare minimum, though, assuming that I don’t do any grading/class prep tonight, is an eight and a half hour day, which is what most people put in.

I want to be clear about something. I’m not doing this because I want to moan and groan about how hard my job is. All I’m trying to show is that I work just as much as other people do in other jobs. The charge against academics is that we work paltry hours and get paid lots for it. My salary is a matter of public record because I’m employed by the state of Florida, and I can guarantee you that by no means can my it be described as “a lot,” but the hours I put in on an average day can be.

One other thing you might notice–nothing in that list involves my creative work, or the editing I do for The Rumpus, even though when I have a nice accomplishment in those fields, my department puts it in their report to the college and to the university. That’s because at my level, the expectation is that any creative work I do is done on my own time. I’m getting paid to teach, not create, so that’s what I’m documenting here.

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February 17, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. This is an interesting exercise. Since I came from a Blue Collar world (before I got my full-time tenure-track job at a community college), I do spend time thinking about how many hours I put in a day. And most days, it’s easily 10 hours….

    Do you really eat lunch? Lately, for me, it’s been a quick bite in the hallways between classes and meetings! 🙂

    Comment by kweyant | March 16, 2011 | Reply


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