October 25 Day 231: Patterns of my Life

As a mathematician, I look for patterns. My weekly patterns are becoming clear–at least for this quarter.

Sunday: I grade like a madwomen. The assignments that I could not face or find the time for during the week cannot be left any longer. I never seem to reach the bottom of the pile. I think to myself, “well if I can just get through this week, things will start to calm down and I will catch up.

Monday: The morning is spent over-preparing class activities. The afternoon is spent teaching remotely–and I never get to half of the things I was prepared to try with my students. Fewer students are attending each day. It makes me a little sad.

Tuesday: Meetings, drop-in hours, and maybe something special like a report to finish or preparation for a big meeting—and maybe, but not likely, time to grade.

Wednesday: A repeat of Monday except with more meetings in the morning.

Thursday: It should be a day of mathematics, catching up, or yes…more meetings. Often special events, like board meetings or day of oral assessment interviews, take priority. If there is a special event every Thursday, does that mean it is no longer special?

Friday: Faculty meetings (and this is the season for discussions on promotion and reappointment), grant work, #TacomaMath. It’s all important.

Saturday: I feel guilty about the grading that hasn’t gotten done because there were so many other things that took priority during the week. I start but decide there will be time tomorrow. There are other things in life than work. I strive for balance. I focus on creative projects. I enjoy time with my family.

Then the cycle begins again.

Published by Jenny Quinn

Mathematician. Mother. Wife. Leader. I am a professor of mathematics at the University of Washington Tacoma. Mother of Anson and Zachary. Wife to Mark. President of the Mathematical Association of America.

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