Hello again Lovelies,
It’s been a hot minute since I laid myself at the feet of the twittersphere/blogiverse… wait, strike that, reverse it. 😉
I am, however, here today to regale you with a practical guide for dealing with the impending apocalypse that is The Back-to-School Crunch. For many who are already living in the throes of pre-autumnal agony, this guide may feel a touch tardy… and to them I say, “sorry Charlie… I belong to no particular academic calendar, and so now is ze time.”
Now, where was I? Oh yes… Back-to-School :shudder::
For the Moodlers of the world, this is the time of torrential teacher requests and upgrade aftermaths. Fun fun fun! – if you’re a glutton for punishment that is.
For the rest of us, this is a time of heightened stress, lessened free-time, rapidly graying hair, and in some extreme cases – complete existential crises.
Here’s the rub — not all Moodlers are operating in the same environments; we are as varied as the human community itself. Buuuuuuuut, if I had to narrow Academic Moodlers into two manageable categories for the sake of this guide, I would say there are those Moodlers who work in the Private Sector (for-profit colleges and universities) and those who work in the Public Sector (state-funded colleges and universities).
The expectations and cultures in these two worlds are vastly different, as is my advice for each…
Tip #1 – Private Sector
Stock up on chocolate and cheese. Some people will call for coffee as the go-to, but here’s my take on that – coffee makes you jittery, dubiously alert, and filled with anxiety… whereas chocolate and cheese have calming, soothing effects. Also, any excuse for more chocolate and cheese, amirite?
Tip #1 – Public Sector
Stop taking phone calls. Both on your office line, and cell. Just stop. ZFG.
Tip #2 – Private Sector
Put the idea that you’ll have one last summer-y romp at the lake/beach/scenic retreat right on out of your head this very instant… ’cause it ain’t happening, hunny. Seriously, hoping against hope is the LAST thing you need to be doing rn.
Tip #2 – Public Sector
Schedule seemingly endless meetings in the dark, forgotten, basement of some underused room on campus. Invite your comrades from IT for a weeks-long DnD game. Don’t forget the Mt. Dew and Redvines. When asked what you’ve been working on, make it sound absurdly technical – they’ll gloss over before having a chance to realize how full of BS you are.
Tip #3 – Private Sector
Get in touch with your pranayama, bro. Breathe it out. Personally, in stressful situations, I like to get a good “primal breath” going. Primal Breath is the term I use to describe the following technique – breathe in deeply (mouth or nose, your choice), then exhale completely while making guttural noises. For the advanced Primal Breather, I recommend a backing soundtrack of metal – it’s very cathartic. Luckily there’s a perfect song CALLED Primal Breath. Repeat as needed. Added bonus – practicing Primal Breathing within earshot of your boss might actually get you some mental health leave days off… sooooooo, do the math.
Tip #3 – Public Sector
P.T.O. – ’nuff said. Thanks, freedom!
Tip #4 – Private Sector
Go out and treat yourself to a new, calming mantra. Let its soothing tones wash over your ragged body like the baby waves of a lake on a warm day. Mantras not your thing? Three words: Bossa Nova Playlist.
Tip #4 – Public Sector
Conferences, summits, conventions, Oh My! Commonly held in major centers of microbrew culture, and vice in general (read Las Vegas), these events are sooooo loosely affiliated with work that it kinda doesn’t matter if you want to just get wasted and collect business cards. Collecting the cards is key in the event your boss wants to know how it went afterwards… business cards and slideshare will be your salvation.
Tip #5 – Private Sector
Time to talk about the elephant in the room… of course I am referring to the utter futility of the whole situation. There is literally not enough time to make all those people happy… there just isn’t. Some requests are going to be filed under “nope” because, as you know, in the Back-to-School crunch, chaos rules supreme. Submit to the will of chaos, accept it. Resign yourself to apathy and trudge through at a pace that is steady and unyielding (just enough so to keep the boss from noticing your new-found nihilism).
Tip #5 – Public Sector
You know what? The student assistants can handle it. Sit back and delegate, like to good lord intended. Why, you’re doing this great nation a service by ensuring there is plenty of work for student assistants. After all, workstudy programs are how many students afford tuition. By giving them job security, you’re practically handing a college degree to these kids. Now pat yourself on the back for a Back-to-School crunch well done!