Thursday, September 16, 2004

Between marking, invigilation and not much else, life has ground almost to a halt. Hate to think how this life might translate in the coming year when the 5-day week gets fully implemented in college. You'd think that we'd be celebrating a 2-day weekend, but that's just only one way to look at it. The days of work may have been reduced, but the hours we have to work remain the same, it's just that with the new scheme, we have fewer days in the week to do it all in.

This backlash doesn't afftect just us teaching staff but all our students as well. We have so many students and staff, but so few tutorial rooms to use that the time we're supposed to be saving is going to be spent queuing up for space to have lessons in. We can still expect to start our days before 7:30 a.m. but don't expect to knock off before 6 p.m. or thereabouts. We're all looking at 11-12 hour days 5 days a week just to have an extra day off on the weekend. And we haven't factored in our CCA committments yet. God help those of us who have 2 CCAs and have to supervise them both 2 of the 5 working days in the week since CCAs won't be held on Saturdays either. Then we have stuff to do in our so-called free-time: the marking, the lesson preparation, the research, the committee meetings, staff training... who would have guessed so much misery might come out of working 5 days a week?

Actually, the idea isn't bad. The execution, though, is always the problem. The rationale behind the directive is to reduce the workload from 5 1/2 days to 5 days, but the implementers will still demand 5 1/2 days work to be done in 5 days instead. Ah, well, it happened in Genesis too. The people complained so the Pharoah ordered that brick production be doubled, while straw be reduced by half. The civil service was just as efficient and pragmatic then as it is today.

Stuff we bitch about at breakfast. Wanna trash out problems honestly, avoid having committee meetings. The informal meal where no one takes things, each other or themselves too seriously is the ticket.

Sympathies to Jong Yann who is having a wisdom tooth problem today. Hope her dentist will be able to do something about it tomorrow.

I've been sort of good, despite having a chemistry invig duty in the afternoon:

> Today's tally = 12
> Cumulative total = 66

Rewarded myself dining in with June: Classic Greek (with feta, moza and edam cheese, yum!) + Meat Lovers' pizza from Canadian 2-for-1.

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