So, first week of term. That’s a short sentence but for all its brevity, it carries a lot of meaning. A first week of term for all the staff on campus here carries a lot of weight. Students, deliberately unknowing and rightly so, deserve nothing but the best attention and energy as they go about settling in and getting on with learning. Staff here try to really exert themselves when it comes to first week of term. That goes for all of us, from the highest authority down to the nice guy who polishes the floors in the gym (his name is Quan, he is from China and he’s working on his Bachelor in Computer Science while here).
So if you were to graph the demands of the first week of term, it would look not unlike a snake swallowing an elephant. This huge bubble of work arrives and everything long term has to be held off, so that the moment by moment day to day stuff is dealt with as soon as possible. Long term in this scenario means something occurring beyond ten days, though more likely a week. It isn’t really fair to say that we are fire fighting because nothing is wrong. Instead, merely dealing with what is coming in is what takes up time.
However, I have to realise that. I do, I have to realise that for this week and maybe most of this month everything else will take longer. Getting emails out, letters written, documents read, everything, it will take longer. I am the type who happily refuses to cut myself some slack; I can be awake since 4.22 am (thanks kid) but still be ashamed that I’m tearful with exhaustion by the end of the day.
Yeah… first week of term. Here we go.