I was talking to a friend of mine who teaches four courses a semester at a local college. She treats her job as a 9-5 one, putting all instruction, preparation, and grading - along with committee work and other service - into 40 hours a week. Then her own writing, of which there is a lot, gets done outside those 40 hours- weekends, evenings, summers.
I teach 2 courses a semester, so I could do all my teaching and service in 40 hours a week and still have time to write and do research during the actual work week. Yes, I could be one of those people who brag about how many hours they work, but I'm not that guy. An hour of work for me can be extremely efficient and productive and I'd rather work 30 good hours than 60 mediocre ones.
It is horrifying to think how many people in academia spend their weeks committed to 60 hours of mediocrity rather protecting 30 hours of quality. This is really one of those businesses where quantity does not make up for quality. Two frazzled hours spent preparing powerpoint slides do not make up for an hour not spent carefully thinking about what you will say to your students. How much better our schools would be if everyone learned how to use a piece of chalk again and went for a long walk instead!
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