My chair certainly has her issues, but when it’s really mattered, she comes through for me. Some folks in my department have issues with her and make very little effort to be subtle about it, but I think she’s doing a great job with what she has.
Case in point: I talked to her earlier about the possibility of having something other than a 5-day-a-week teaching schedule for the spring. I was hoping that she could bring it down to a 4 or even 3-day schedule. Just one day off can make a huge difference (right, Fie?), and I didn’t feel like that was much to ask. I’ve taught 5 days a week for three consecutive semesters, and always at least twice a week at 8 AM.
Imagine my surprise when I receive an e-mail from my chair asking if I would be OK with a 2-day (Tuesday/Thursday) teaching schedule. Would I?! Mondays, Wednesdays, AND Fridays off? If I didn’t know her, I would have suspected some major trolling. This was far better than I could have hoped for.
Admittedly, my Tuesdays and Thursdays would be rather full (teaching 8-9:20, 9:30-10:50, and 2:30-3:50), but I would only do that twice a week for 13 weeks. Twenty six times. And the intro class I’ve taught now for nearly 4 years is two of the three. The downside is that my third class is a completely new prep for me. I have a syllabus and a reasonable amount of knowledge in the area, but I’m rather nervous about the amount of work that it’ll be.
Still, I’m excited to think that I may actually get to have days off, take weekend trips, and maybe even have time to interview. If I could get an interview to run Monday-Wednesday or Wednesday-Friday, it would mean a lot less juggling for me. Even better, I could in theory arrive somewhere on a Sunday evening, interview on Monday, and come back Monday evening to teach on Tuesday.
That is, of course, assuming I get any interviews at all. Sigh.