This Academic Life
  O you who turn the wheel
T.S. Eliot must have lived on an academic calendar:

APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
April really is the worst in the American academic calendar, I think. All of the projects that students have been working on all year start to trickle in as rough drafts needing comments -- just about the same time that book orders and other course design stuff for the Fall are due, and typical end-of-semester things start to happen (suddenly everyone wants to come to office hours to talk about their final papers, and the backlog of in-semester grading that has been piling up starts to look more ominous as the date for turning in final grades looms). It's worse for me this year because I also have an end-of-the-month conference to help plan and coordinate, an ongoing committee battle to fight, two side projects that involve extra meetings with administrators and other colleagues, and oh yes, two summer courses (have to each in the summer in order to make the mortgage payments) to prep for.

April is the cruelest month, indeed.

[The full text of Eliot's brilliant poem The Waste Land -- which is of course not about anything as prosaic as having a lot of work to do in a short amount of time -- can be found here.]

[Posted with ecto]

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"Academia als Beruf," or, an occasional record of the various aspects of my life as an academic. Written by "21stCWeber," an arrogant handle I know…but I must confess that I do want to be Weber when and if I grow up :-)



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