In the summer when you are planning course that you have taught before, it sound so great to add a new lecture here or there. Freshen things up or add something that the students really should know..... It's all good until I get to the week of the lecture and then I realize that my prep for that lecture is going to require more than just pulling out my notes from last time and refreshing my memory on what I want to say. I have to read new material, prepare new slides or board notes and it's going to take way more time than I normally budget for prep on this course I teach each year. Oops. These new lectures always sneak up on me too and I forget about them.
So this week I had one of those new lectures and it was painful to prepare. I remembered why I had stopped teaching this lecture even though the students really should see the material. I struggled to pack the obscure information into my brain in a hurry and seem like I know something about what I was saying. It was not joyful, but it did get finished before class. It wasn't my most brilliant lecture ever, but we made it through. I did contemplate a quick topic change this morning, but vetoed that idea. Since the new topic, while more interesting to me and taught every year was full of details as well that would have to be refreshed.
In hindsight I should have move this lecture to the week when I wasn't frantically trying to finish my R01 resubmission with a collaborator. I was coasting along fine until I suddenly realized last week that it was mid-October and there was significant work remaining. I'm feeling much better this week after major writing last week, but I still have many smaller details to work on and I like to have a little time to reflect on the whole draft and make sure it all fits together (and within the page limit). Our research office has gotten stricter about deadlines with the whole online submission thing. I think it will all come together and I'm desperately trying to finish before Halloween since we have a busy weekend with school parades and neighborhood parties.... I really don't want the darn thing hanging over my head.
Oh and just to add to the mix I just found out that the in-laws are coming to visit this weekend from out of town, as in tomorrow night! OK sorry for the rant here but it was a really crazy day. And as I always say (often in delusion) next week will be less crazy right?
PS Has anyone read the new Shriver report "A Woman's Nation".
It looks really interesting - addressing the growing number of women in the workforce, as breadwinners and dual career families. I'm interested in hearing about the new balance of domestic duties when women are co-breadwinners. Not focused on academia or engineering, but I think many of these issues are common among professional women.