Monday, May 7, 2012

40 Hours in Heaven

I'm always fascinated at our inability to revere or trust the past.  The newest, latest trends/research/way of doing things cycle in and out and if history serves us correctly, we have a habit of forgetting why we are doing the things that we are doing.

In the case of higher education, I think that now is an appropriate time to be looking at why we are doing what it is we are doing and how that is translating to our actions.  For instance, Super College might be interested in educating students towards critical thinking, a broad understanding of the liberal arts, and service to others.  I think an interesting and important question that must be asked then is whether or not a 128 hour degree plan is the best way to get there.  And so forth...

Anyway, this is tangental to the purpose of today's post.  My good friend James sent me this article today and it was both fascinating, true, and ironic.  It was fascinating in that I am currently wrestling through one of the more difficult seasons of burnout I have ever had.  Not totally uncommon for this time of year for anyone who works in education, but this year was especially long and full of challenges.  It makes sense that the research would suggest that because of the pace and schedule I've kept this year, i'm professionally and personally useless right now.  My wife would probably agree.

Circling back to my first paragraph, it is amusing that we seem to work insane hours and work even nuttier life styles, abandoning the traditional work week.  One step removed, it would suggest that 40 hours and five days a week were either arbitrary or for lazy folks.  Yet the research seems to be pretty strong in opposition to such hubris.

So in honor of this article, I'm heading to bed.