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We need to discuss the lack of time and space to think in academic settings

This morning, I woke up at 4 am (as I normally do) and started writing. It’s a Saturday, and I really do not like working on weekends nor long hours. However, this week I’ve been putting in 12-16 hour days, just to catch up. It’s the beginning of the semester. This pace won’t be sustainable, and I am looking forward to reclaiming my evenings and weekends again, once the semester’s fast pace normalizes. My health has been compromised before because of overwork, and I’ve learned my lesson the very very very hard way.

Library Cubicles at El Colegio de Mexico

I have very clear physical limits to what I can sustainably do and how much I can work and I will not kill myself over a job.

Not today, not tomorrow, not ever.

What made me ponder as I completed a full day’s worth of work (I tweeted my rant around 3pm) was that yes, I’m really happy that I can spend the entire day at home writing (on a Saturday), but at the same time, I know this long stretch of time to write and reflect won’t last. On Monday I have to go back to meetings, reading students’ drafts, teaching, preparing lectures, doing administrative paperwork, etc. I’ll be feeling like I’m running again as a headless chicken.

Don’t get me wrong: I love my job. I love being a professor. I love being a researcher. I adore my students, and my colleagues. I feel very fulfilled. BUT I am NOT happy about the fact that we don’t have enough time to reflect and think. My rant on Twitter is posted here for posterity.

I just had to get this off my chest. Back to writing!

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