South Park Self

a bug splats on the windscreen somewhere around July

This is a very seasonal job which I am, to a greater or lesser degree of reluctant efficiency, holding down. Apart from the hellish frenzies of end-of-year, start-of-year and first-week-of-second-semester, aka Hellweek, it is characterised by what I can only describe as Doldrums around May/June, namely now. I have things to do, but they're not madly urgent, and it's thus very hard to motivate myself into actually doing them, with the net result that I'm bored. I also have to achieve them in between a more or less continual stream of student interruptions as the end of the semester approaches and student angst levels start to rise. I am not good at interruptions. See Homicidal Rage, previous post.

It is thus, alas, the time of year in which I reliably and fervently hate this job. Or, not so much hate it as loathe its guts to the last twisted, blackened inch. I wish to eviscerate said guts by means of throwing a hysterical fit and resigning to do something interesting and fulfilling and for which I am actually fitted by inclination and training, like teaching Chinese to reluctant badgers. I'd say that the hatred is exacerbated by the fact that (a) I'm also horribly glandular and perpetually exhausted, and (b) the Dragon Age fixation is making me doubly resent having to spend my days doing something other than hitting darkspawn very hard with a sword, but in fact it's exactly the reverse: the level of hatred for the job is causing both manifestations. This is Not Productive. I console myself with the thought that it's seasonal - I don't usually hate this job nearly as much as I do currently. There are times when I really only find it mildly depressing.

The other drawback to a job with a recurring seasonal cycle: you end up realising that in fact what you're doing is playing an endless game of Desert Bus. As soon as I get to the end of the year, I turn right around and go back to the start, scoring One Point thereby. Hooray.

Please to ignore the above extended whinge, mostly it's an attempt to account for my unaccountable lack of posting lately. Sorry. As you were. I promise I'll Get Better.
  • Current Mood: apathetic phooey
  • Current Music: Band of Horses
All about risk
I hadn't heard about the desert bus game; what a fantastic idea, if you don't have to play it.

In the heyday of northern English mining towns, men would go down into a dark pit for hours at a time and emerge again tired and dirty. They repeated this process for their entire working lives. The job put food on the table but was unfulfilling in every other way. So they found meaning through free time activities; one of the main reasons for the strong tradition of brass bands in the region. Reading your frustrated account, it strikes me that your job may be somewhat analogous, in terms of its lack of fulfillment and feelings of alienation. It's certainly not your dream job.

You surely have more career choices than a miner. It makes me think that you may have stayed with your cherished institution because the rest of your environment is pretty good and because much as you'd like a fulfilling purely-academic job, you don't get your meaning in life only from your paid employment. Moving institution in search of an academically-fulfilling career - almost certainly somewhere far away - would probably throw all the rest of it in the air.

Of course, this could all be psychobabbly bollocks, or completely obvious to you. Take it with a pinch of salt.
At the risk of sounding trite, have you considered investing in earplugs, or noise-cancelling headphones, and using the doldrums to do more academic writing outside of your formally-notified student contact times?