Monday, September 06, 2010

Post-Dissertation Productivity: Or, One of the Perks of My Job

Now that the dissertation is finished, I am able to fully realize what is likely the biggest benefit to this job (second, perhaps, to the money): TIME!

I am scheduled to teach 2 classes each semester. This semester, one of those classes has only 2 students enrolled. Despite all logic and normal operations of any university, the powers that be are requiring that this course continue to be offered. So, I have made this class as easy on myself and the students as possible, and suffice it to say that this class takes up less than 2 hours per week of my time. My other class, a basic intro to rhet/comp class, is made up of 12 students. I have taught this course many times over the past 9 years, so there is little prep to be done. The time spent is on reading, commenting on, and grading papers. Since there are only 12 students, though, this is a fairly quick process, leaving me with plenty of time to concentrate on my own work: preparing job market materials, researching, and revising.

Thus far, I've already submitted an essay proposal for an edited collection, and I just submitted a paper proposal for an ASECS panel. The panel organizer is a graduate student I met a couple years ago at a conference in England, and I talked with her again at the 2009 ASECS conference, so I'm hoping (maybe foolishly) that she'll remember me and think "Oh yes, she's a smart person with good ideas...of course I'll accept her paper." Doesn't really matter, because I'm going to the conference whether the proposal is accepted or not. I have also significantly revised my teaching philosophy after noticing some weak spots, reflecting on my experience teaching abroad this past year, and reading some damn fine teaching statements from other people in the field.

The only major task I have yet to finish up is revising my writing sample/journal article submission. I have about 10 things I need to address, change, develop, etc. and then it will be ready to go. It feels so good to be able to choose what I want to work on each day, and it feels even better having the time to get finished what needs to be finished. I know that I'm lucky in the sense that most people do not have this experience as lecturers or graduate students going on the market, and I just hope that the extra time I'm spending on crafting a strong job letter, teaching statement, etc. will pay off in the form of a job!

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