I finished writing my annual review yesterday. At SouthLite we are supposed to tally up all of our "products" (research, teaching and service) for the year via a web-based system with an incredibly awkward interface and then write a "reflective" piece on each area. I was tempted to include my tenure packet as a manuscript. Honestly the amount of time I have spent on writing about my writing (and research and teaching and service) for the tenure packet, the teaching award application, and this annual review could easily equal two--maybe three--papers.
My friend, A-Girl, and I often commiserate on the "work-before-the-work," which is what we call all of the bureaucratic form-filling, back-scratching, somersault-turning shenanigans one has to go through within an institution before you can even start your research. I now see that academia has this on two fronts--the "work-before-the-work" and then the "work-on-the-work."
When do I just get to work?
All whining aside, my other revelation is that the academic year is very similar to the first year of mothering: you feel busy all the time, torn in multiple directions, don't get enough sleep, don't take very good care of yourself, feel like you are accomplishing a great feat if you manage to shower on a daily basis and at the end of the day there are very few tangible products--yet you can't imagine doing anything else.