Whoa. A metathirsty. Not until I've finished my coffee.
A colleague asked me this one yesterday, "Do we have to keep office hours during finals week?" If so, how many are you required to keep? How does it work at your school?
Nice.Our administration is clear that we don't. But it is also the week that sees the largest number of students trying to come see me in my office. I haven't been keeping a fixed schedule, but I think I should in the future.
We are told that we need to "be available." I promise to crawl under my desk to avoid people less often during finals week.
As far as I know, we don't have any requirement. I spent most of the last 3 weeks holding conferences pretty much non-stop. I now seem to be spending all my time answering panicked last-minute emails about late work (rather than grading the work I've already got), but at least I'm doing it from home.
If you have a PhD you like torture and doing what we do is just more torture?
That's a very plausible answer to an extremely cryptic question. Ph.D. ESP?
I have two interviews next week. If I get both, how do I decide which one to take? I hate making big decisions!
For the interviews, I'm pretty sure the answer is both (and, if they're academic jobs, they should be willing to schedule so that you can make both, and will be impressed that someone else has shown interest). If you get both jobs, let us know. I'm sure we'd all be happy to throw in our two cents, and confuse you even further (but sometimes it helps to write out your reasoning, even in slightly-disguised form). And congratulations on the interviews!
Are my students conspiring against me, or just coincidentally all making the same pernicious decisions?
Good question. I'm reminded of Hanlon's Razor, "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity," and Clark's Law, "Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice."
I'm in danger of becoming the 'older distinguished scientist' from Clarke's other law. But after finals I'll get better.
Clark's Law was apparently supplied by J. Porter Clark of NASA, who was almost surely aware of Arthur C. Clarke's three laws. I may have misquoted it; another source has it as "sufficiently advanced cluelessness is indistinguishable from malice." So which 'older distinguished scientist' are you, the one who says it's possible, or the other? I'm thinking you're predicting that it's impossible for several of your students to pass. Yeah, my week's been like that, too.
Why does my uncharacteristically empty calendar indicate simply the absence of bite-sized chunks of busywork, when the reality is more like three days of having to swallow the whole pig of full-day, impromptu meetings?
Will these questions count towards tenure?
Where might I get 12 cases of rotten eggs, so that my colleagues and I might pelt our department Chair and Dean with them?
Why is it that the year I get a schedule that suits me, it also really suits all the worst students?
coffee --> nose --> screen
What question should I be asking?