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Can't Stop That Day

Every semester for the last two and a half years, I’ve arranged things such that my scheduled commitments for the week all fall between Monday and Wednesday. The good news in this is that generally speaking, by Wednesday at 5.00 pm, I’m free to operate by weekend guidelines (that is, appointment-free: working with the door closed, if in the office; working at home, if I feel like it; working in the most comfortable clothes possible, in any case). It would be hard to call the Thursday-to-Sunday stretch a “long weekend,” given that I usually take no more than one day of it “off,” and that one’s only spent not-working in order to take care of all the details of my non-work life that are utterly neglected six of seven days out of the week. Nonetheless, the absence of scheduled commitments during those four days creates a feeling of freedom that, if illusory, is nonetheless damned nice.[1]

That’s the up side. The down side is that Monday, not to put too fine a point on it, sucks. The intensity of the Monday-to-Wednesday stretch is such that I’m left feeling pretty battered by Wednesday at 5.00 pm, and it all begins with Monday. I get whatever work done in the morning I can manage, zip to the gym if there’s an hour to spare, run to the noon department meeting, rush off to teach my two afternoon classes, and conclude with a just shy of two-hour long committee meeting. After which I usually end up in the office, cleaning up details and answering neglected email, until nearly 8.00 pm. The result is that I wake up every Monday morning absolutely dreading what’s ahead.

I’m not sure that the alternative — spreading the commitments out over five days — would be any better. But I have fantasies of this leisured professorial life I keep hearing about, and wish somebody could help me figure out how to get it.

  1. Not to mention that it’s the only tenable way I’ve found to maintain a long-distance relationship. But that’s another story. ↩︎


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