Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Five Minutes

Ok, even though my last post said that I have entered a state of strange calmness, it doesn't mean that I am actually less busy.  I should put that right out there.  It is very difficult for me to even find five minutes for me to do anything like read blogs, let alone post.  I haven't read any blogs in almost a week.

One of the issues is that on the homeschooling front, I am starting to do more with the kids.  I don't really want to - but this is an argument that has been had over and over again.  So, I have been spending a lot of time helping Crab Girl with math.  She is learning how to do some pre-algebra stuff.  For example, simplify the expression 3(6y-4x)-2(5x-2y).  She is having to learn how to multiply by negative numbers and group like terms, etc.  It is interesting to see how minds work to process this.  She has to have a little table:
++ = +
+- = -
-+ = -
-- = +
to do the multiplication.  These are little things that you don't even think about anymore, but are a small hill for her to get over.  It is both frustrating and exciting to see her understanding grow at the same time.  BTW, the answer is 22(y-x).

I have to have a talk with my Post Doc about vacation time and international trips.  This last summer, I sent him on an international trip to a conference that I was interested in attending.  He extended this trip and took a 4 week vacation.  He is going back to his home this month for another 2 weeks.  Then he asked me if he could attend another international trip in March (to his home country again).  This is the part of the plan where I have to put my foot down and say that 6 weeks of vacation is more than enough for someone in one year.  I don't get 6 weeks of vacation in a year.  Post Docs shouldn't really either.  Conversely, the question could be raised - if you are accomplishing all of the goals that are set out for you, should you be allowed to take as much vacation time as you want?  For me, if I accomplish all of my goals, I think to myself that I set my expectations too low, so I make more goals. (Hence the reason I don't have five minutes.)

I have to go so I can teach class in a few minutes.  Students are starting to come into class.


FrauTech said...

It's so weird to think in academia that in fact a Post Doc is expected to work more time than say the PI. Whereas in the corporate world, there is this complete fear of taking more vacation than any of your subordinates. Or maybe that is what is holding you back, like you said you start to wonder if you are being too easy on yourself if you could actually find time for a vacation. Product of our culture I guess.

madscientist said...

Yes - there is only one member of my group (2 students, 3 post docs and 1 researcher) who works more than I do, and she is one of the students. I don't feel like they are sluffing off, I feel like I am a workaholic.