Those of you that follow the blog know that we usually reserve Fridays for fun and/or funny posts that have only circumstantial (at best) connections to academia and scholarship. However, this week I couldn’t resist posting something a little heavier than normal.

Earlier this week, I stumbled upon a piece from Kathi Inman Berens about the struggle for relevance faced by the humanities, the plight of adjunct (i.e., part-time or contract) instructors, how the two relate, and how to make life easier for all involved. The blog post, entitled “Want to ‘Save the Humanities’? Pay Adjuncts to Learn Digital Tools,” highlighted, among other things, the ways Digital Humanities enhances student learning and the difficulty teaching-only and non-permanent faculty have investing their valuable time in learning the technology. As part of this complex issue, Berens suggests the following:

Academics accept overwork as a condition of our lives. We work weekends, defer sleep and rest, “catch up” on grading during spring break, make “vacations” out of conference travel. But it’s a mistake to universalize the culture of overwork. Overwork on the tenure line is an investment in professional promotion. Overwork among adjuncts is just the condition of keeping one’s job(s).

Do you ever feel that way as a GA/TA? Do you feel like overworking is the only way to keep your job? Your marks? Your scholarships? More importantly, do you feel like your overworking leads to something meaningful in the long run, or is it simply about surviving? Share your thoughts below.

And for those of you who just couldn’t contemplate something so gloomy on a Friday, here’s a gift from the Toronto Star about “how to survive winter for beginners.”

Happy Friday!




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