Tuesday, August 18, 2009

They're playing songs of school . . .

They're playing songs of school . . .
. . . but not for me, because my being on sabbatical.

Or are they?

1. "Hi. I know you're on sabbatical, but we're having this all-day meeting where we'd really like your input because you had so much to do with this project last year."

2. "Could you come in and meet with these students? It'd be great if you could. Of course, you're on sabbatical, but I think it's important."

After reading about faculty shirkers over at Historiann's, I felt guilty, even though I'm not one.

There are lines between really shirking, being perceived as shirking, protecting your time, and learning to say no (one of the Lessons for Girls). On the "perceived as being shirking" front, you can be on campus a lot, but if you don't live close by, you hear things like this:

"You're on campus today?" (Looks like it, doesn't it?)

"Hope you didn't come all the way to campus just for this one meeting." (Yes, I did.)

"I didn't expect to see you here." (Why not? Have I missed one of these meetings/gatherings yet?)

So I said yes to #2. And I found that the only excuse for not doing #1 was to say, truthfully, that I had already arranged to meet with a student elsewhere.

But if this is going to be a real leave with real work accomplished, I have to let the guilt go and learn to say "I can't"--not "I won't," but "I can't." There's a difference.

Edited because every blog post would be better with a soundtrack.


Historiann said...

Undine, baby--you need to brush up on those NO skills, m'kay?

I say this as someone who attended T & P committee meetings when I was on sabbatical 2 years ago. But, I held the line there, and I only met with students (grad students) I wanted to see and catch up with.

This is a difficult thing to do if you're on leave but not leaving town. If it gets harder to say NO, you just might have to go move in with a friend or parents or someone who lives in another location.

undine said...

Absolutely right, Historiann. I am now done, finished, and staying away until next semester.

Sorry about the disappearing post; I believed that the blog identity detectives were closing in and panicked. I ought to either come out like you and Tenured Radical or quit worrying, since it's not something I can control.

undine said...

And reposted because I am sick of worrying about the blog identity detectives.