Thursday, August 25, 2011

Constrained Choices, Part Two

I have one set of constrained work-related choices for Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, the days I'm at my office at the Prindle Institute. I have a different set of constrained choices for Tuesday and Thursday, the days I'm at my Philosophy Department office in Asbury Hall.

For one thing, I don't have a computer in my Asbury office - hooray, no temptation to check email! If I want to check it, I can walk fewer than 100 steps (200 tops) to use a computer in the library. Or I can walk the two blocks to my house, but I'm trying not to allow myself to return home until the end of my self-imposed work day.

Today I required myself to stay at my office from 9-10, then I taught from 10 until 11:30 (my Rousseau class with SIX students, all highly motivated and delightful). And then I required myself to stay at my office (with a brief lunch break) until 3. I list 1-3 as my office hours, so now I'm truly bound to be there during that time. All I'm allowed to do during this time is campus-related tasks. I can read articles and books about Rousseau (I have HEAPS), prepare for class, grade papers (though of course I won't have any for a long time), and interact with colleagues and students. I also allowed myself today the option of reading The Tempest, for the class I'll be sitting in on that begins next week. The result: today I did indeed prepare for class, reread part of David Gauthier's brilliant and beautiful book on Rousseau (which brings me to tears whenever I read it), and read through the entire Tempest.

Tomorrow I'll pack my Prindle totebag, but I may pack a MORNING totebag and then leave for lunch and return with a different AFTERNOON totebag. There are certain things I really have to do tomorrow that I won't do if any other sanctioned work options present themselves. Those things will go into the morning totebag. The afternoon totebag will have things I need to read to organize the reading group.

Sounds like a plan.

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