For everyone else, April is the month where nature springs back to life, love is in the air, pleasant days and good feelings.
I feel like in the academic calendar, April is the equivalent of winter. The year is dying, disappointments abound, there is frantic work to harvest whatever is left of this year’s efforts. I can’t remember an April since I began work as a professor where I felt relaxed and in control, except years when I was on leave. I always stumble into May out of energy, horribly behind in everything. I think I see the same in at least some of my students and many of my colleagues.
As long as I’m talking workload, here’s one modest riposte to the refrain that academics only teach a few hours a week and that’s the sum total of their job. This weekend, I have to finish grading approximately 70 4-5 page papers from two classes. I timed myself the other day: I spend on average about 15 minutes per paper reading and marking. That adds up to a lot of hours before it’s done.
I’ve got some more substantive entries stored up. If I can catch my breath a bit, I’ll try to push those out over the next few days.