Wednesday, August 6, 2008

What happened?

Back at work, and it feels like I'm wading through a sea of molasses. A million things to attend to, but where to start?

By a stroke of genious/sheer luck (strike whichever's not appropriate) I was proactive with my email - enough people knew that I'd be away on vacation for my inbox not to be completely full. I'm unsuccessfully trying to pat myself congratulatory on the back as I type.

However, I've still got to revise a manuscript, devise a continuation/makeup exam, figure out which courses I'm actually supposed to teach this Fall (thanks to the miracle of the "it's learning" web interface the 5th year specialization courses have the same code for each specialization branch, save for one digit. However, by some administrative decision the distinction between courses from that last digit is not accessible to the subject teachers. How very practical.) and such. The process behind continuation/makeup exams at this institution also leaves much to be desired, something which acknowledged by pretty much everyone except the administrative branch in charge of this particular topic. We - the subject teachers - don't get to know a) whether anyone's registered for this exam or b) when this exam is to be held save for a two-week window until mid/late July, at which point it's not uncommon to be on vacation. To top it off, we only get the information about the exam date electronically - the list of candidates is only distributed by departmental mail as a hardcopy. SO; going into the vacation you don't know if anyone is going to take the exam OR when it's supposed to be given. Within the entire period where Norwegians normally take their vacation, you don't know if anyone's going to take the exam unless you check your mail box at work. And you can't call the administration because - that's right cats and kittens - they're on vacation. I only found out that someone was indeeed registered for this exam because the student in question had found my cell number online to ask me some questions. Some other faculty members at this department weren't so lucky.

I've also got to write up and finish a manuscript which is fast turning out to be more hardcore spectroscopy than what we expected when going into the data collection - to my endless delight, but also much to the chagrin of my post doc, I wager.

Another week of vacation would've been good right about now.


Anders said...

A million things to attend to, but where to start?

I see that you went with Plan F: Scr*w it all, log on to the internet and update the blog!
Good choice! :-D

Btw, love your rants about the university admin.

Wilhelm said...

Hah - there's truth in your words, young padawan