What Do (Recovering) Professors Do All Day?

2010 Children's Literature Association Conference: me, Dr. Betsy Hearne, and Minjie Chen

A continuation of yesterday’s post, “What do (sick) professors do all day?” based on my friend and colleague Dr. Phil Nel‘s weeklong series, “What do professors do all day?” I’ve been ill since last Wednesday/Thursday, but I don’t feel like I’m dying anymore, hence, “recovering professor.” It doesn’t mean “recovering” as if being a professor totally thrashed me 🙂 As most of you know, I *heart* my job.

Side note: Last night I went home and reviewed for my LIS 7180 Storytelling for Adults and Children course until about… 2am. So Tuesday’s work tally was 9 hours and 45 minutes + 2 hours = 11 hours and 45 minutes.

Wednesday February 23, 2011

8:30-9:30 AM Woke up. Relieved that I’m not deathly ill as I was the past few days. Checked FB and email, showered and got ready for the day.

9:30-9:40 AM Ate breakfast and did my daily Bible devotional reading.

9:40-10:00 AM Prepared lunch and put away dishes while warming up car (I live in MN – baby, it’s cold outside).

10:20-10:30 AM Got into my office, Couer de Catherine 51, and started this blog post.

10:30-10:45 AM Continued (re)reading “Children’s Emotional Attachment to Stories” by Alexander, Miller & Hengst. This article was on my Youth Literature and Services field exam when I was a PhD student. A must-read for anyone concerned with the importance of stories and storytelling in young people’s lives.

10:45-11:05 AM Stopped by the library to pick up Children and Books, the book that Janice Del Negro wrote about in the article I (re)read yesterday. Also stopped by the dining hall to pick up a French Vanilla Cappuccino, my drug of choice when on campus.

11:05-11:22 AM Phone meeting with Linda Mays, Program Officer at ALSC (Association for Library Services to Children) to discuss a webinar she wants me to do. Yikes. This is a great opportunity, but I needed a few minutes to think about whether or not I want to take it. We said we’d be in touch again on Friday.

11:22-11:32 AM Discussed ALSC opportunity with Tarie (this girl never sleeps – she just reads and writes and writes and writes and supports her colleagues/friends). She said, “Think of the children,” and I crumbled. Yes, I’m doing it. For the children! FTC!

11:32-:1142 AM Checked FB.

11:42-11:50 AM Finished (re)reading “Young Children’s Emotional Attachment to Stories.” As I continued reading it, I became more and more curious how the data and analyses might change if the children weren’t of European American heritage. To be fair, the authors concede that this is an area in need of more research. How might Asian American children react to stories with white protagonists? Do Korean American children become attached to Korean folk tales? Or are they just as attached to Disney’s Cinderella? Does culture matter?

11:50-12:30 PM (Re)read “Swapping Tales and Stealing Stories: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Folklore in Children’s Literature” by Dr. Betsy Hearne (Library Trends 47:3, Winter 1999): “Is there a difference, ultimately, between folktale, personal narrative, family lore, and fiction in the way we use story as daily habit? We, otherwise known as the folk, use stories to explain our lives not literally… but figuratively… The only way to reconcile the differences between the conflicting needs of borrowing and owning stories is to try and realize the benefit of both” (p525-526).

12:40-1:15 PM Continued reviewing Breaking the Magic Spell in prep for tonight’s LIS 7180 Storytelling for Adults and Children course.

1:15-1:35 PM Listened to a few songs on Chris Tomlin‘s “And if Our God is For Us” album in an effort to carve out some much-needed downtime. Also ate lunch. Also checked FB. hRmmm multitasking… so much for downtime.

1:35-1:37 PM Asked my colleague Heidi Hammond if she has any ideas for what we should read in preparation for our next YLIG (Youth Literature and Interest Group) meeting. We might read ChLA-award winning scholarly articles. Still brainstorming…

1:37-3:07 PM Finished (re)reading/reviewing Breaking the Magic Spell.

3:07-3:10 PM Checked email… and FB.

3:10-3:50 PM Reviewed students’ discussion posts on our PBworks page. I learn soOoOooo much from their responses to our textbooks (2 weeks ago was The Uses of Enchantment; last week was Breaking the Magic Spell).

3:50-4:50 PM Not sure what to do with myself… checked email. Reviewed some ALA (American Library Association) news. Discovered that a colleague, Dr.  Mary Wilkins Jordan (Simmons GSLIS), won a prestigious ALA grant (happy!) and that a PATRIOT ACT amendment that would have created better library patron privacy failed (sad). Printed out agenda, made copies of rubric for storytelling, worked on my grade book, ate chocolate…

5:00-5:30 PM SCU MLIS ALA Student Chapter first meeting! A good number of students – many first year – showed up to learn more about forming this new student org. Many are also interested in youth services. Exciting!

5:30-6:00 PM Checked email, FB, reviewed Dia programs and caught up with a friend in LA over googlechat.

6:00-9:10 PM Taught LIS 7180 Storytelling for Adults and Children.

9:10-9:45 PM Debriefed LIS 7180 Storytelling on my private blog. Wrote about Betsy’s guest lecture, posted comments to our PBworks site, and discussed Wind in the Willows, Marxist readings of children’s lit/film, and the depiction of mice/rats/rodents over googlechat with a friend. When I’m alone in my office late at night, I like to blast music really loud and have my googlechat on so I don’t feel *quite* so alone.

Total work hours: approximately 9 hours and 44 minutes.  Same as yesterday, but I feel like I worked more, maybe because I think I worked faster since I’m less sick. So, again, the answer to the question, “What do (recovering) professors do all day?” is, “We still work.”And I’m about to hit my 12-hour in-office limit, so away I go!

As a side note, some of my friends told me they keep a “coffin” of pens and highlighters they used up while in graduate school. I think it would be fun to start one to see just how many I use up in my work.

Again, note to self: YOU NEED TO WRITE, Dr. Sparky. Carve out time for writing and reflecting.

3 thoughts on “What Do (Recovering) Professors Do All Day?

  1. Pingback: What Do Professors Do All Day? « sarahpark.com

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