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Dumb things Sam does #3641: Write too-long essays on work-life balance

I had big plans for this weekend. I was going to watch what is likely to be youngest son’s last swim meet of the season. I was going to catch up on recommendation letters (slightly over a dozen outstanding). I was going to grade the first homework assignment for CSC 151, as well as the quiz from Friday. I was going to deal with the massive influx of office supplies to my office [1]. I was going to spend a bit of time with my family, and perhaps even catch up on sleep. I was going to the GSP reunion lunch and to Hidden Figures. And, as always, I was going to write a few essays.

I did see youngest son’s swim meet. I even helped host the togetherness dinner on Friday night. My contributions were baking brownies and helping clean up afterwards. I got most of the first CSC 151 homework graded [2].
I made it to the GSP reunion activities. I helped Michelle with some of her homework. I helped eldest and middle with some email they had to write. I dealt with a concern one child had. I answered a bunch of email from students. I made dinner for the family on Sunday night. I even changed the headlight in the minivan.

But I also wrote one of the longest essays in the series. Writing the essay on work/life balance [3] took much longer than I normally allocate to an essay. It’s clear that after the recent short essays, my muse had a lot of energy to encourage me to work. By the time I was done writing that essay, and emailing it to a few people, I didn’t really have time for any other work on Saturday, and it’s clear that I had more work than I could accomplish in one day. Sunday was the GSP reunion.

So, here it is Sunday night. I haven’t graded the quizzes yet, but I can get them done before class. I haven’t written the recommendation letters yet, but I can do them Monday night [4]. I haven’t written any of the additional essays I planned to write. And it’s all because I allowed myself to go on and on in that essay [5].

Oh well, I think it was a good essay, perhaps even one of the more important essays I’ve written. Since that essay was about six times as long as a normal essay (6000 words vs 1000 words), I might even be able to argue that I could take a few days off. I suppose I could go back and turn each section into a separate essay. But that doesn’t seem right.

Instead, I’ve written this essay. Perhaps it will remind me that when I have a lot of work to do, I should put aside the too-long essays. Or perhaps it will remind me that I have to work a lot harder on my estimation skills for essay length.

The next few essays I’ve been thinking about writing are potentially longer essays. Maybe I can find ways to keep them short. Maybe I can find ways to split them into multiple essays, so that each is short. We’ll see.

And, in spite of not finishing all of my professional work, it does seem like I achieved a reasonable balance between my personal and professional activities this weekend. So perhaps I should celebrate that success, rather than bemoan the failures.

[1] More on that later.

[2] That’s more impressive than it sounds. This may be the first semester in years in which I have the first CSC 151 assignment graded within a week.

[3] Or, as I suggested in the essay, personal/professional harmony.

[4] None are due before February 1, so I actually have a few more days. I just really want to get them done soon.

[5] Well, perhaps it’s also because I planned too much to do this weekend.

Version 1.0 of 2017-01-29.