Saturday, September 5, 2009

Alternating Rhythms

In my job as a philosophy professor at CU, I teach three classes on MWF, at 9, 11, and 1. Yesterday was a fairly typical teaching day: teach my large lecture class at 9; at 10 hold office hours where students drop in to chat; teach my upper-division ethical theory class at 11; at 12, a luncheon meeting of the steering committee for the Center for the Humanities and Arts; race all the way over to Farrand Hall for my 1:00 class that I teach in the Residential Academic Program in one of the CU dorms; then race back to my own building for a 2:00 talk by my colleague Chris Heathwood on “Moral and Epistemic Open Question Arguments” in our series of talks sponsored by the Center for Values and Social Policy; department meeting 3-5; drinks with the philosophy department women at our monthly ladies’ happy hour 5-7.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays I stay at home all day, or at least most of the day: writing, reading, preparing for class, grading papers, puttering at my desk.

I always think of myself as loving my quiet, peaceful Tuesdays and Thursdays best, but actually they often leave me depressed. I never accomplish as much as I hoped and planned; sometimes I waste time (albeit pleasantly – this past Thursday, I “wasted” it finishing Julia Child’s My Life in France, which I bought myself as a birthday present to continue my love affair with the film Julie and Julia). I always have the nagging sense that I could have and should have accomplished more.

I never feel that way on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. How could I accomplish more than cramming every single minute full of teaching, talks, and meetings? So maybe I like MWF best.

But I think what I really like best is the alternating rhythms of my days: lively/quiet, social/solitary, extroverted/introverted. On Monday, I yearn for Tuesday; on Tuesday, I yearn for Wednesday, and whatever I’m yearning for is only a day away.

1 comment:

  1. Your blog is such a pleasure to read. The stuff about getting depressed on T/Th, because of not getting enough done reminds of a rating scale that I used to describe my freelance days in the early 1980s. Each day, I rated as being either bad-bad, bad, good-bad, good or good-good. As you might imagine, my days mostly fell somewhere between, but oh did I feel low on a bad-bad day.