What is it like to be a pinball? I think I know – because I often describe my AVP days as “pinballing”. I go from one thing to another to another, back to the first and then over to a fourth thing. I zig and zag and zig again. And sometimes (but not often) I feel like I’m going down the drain.
This month I thought I’d give you a feel for a day of pinballing. I’ll save the gory details – but I’ll highlight the work. The key to understanding why I feel like a pinball is knowing that I rarely get to spend much focused on a single thing. I start one thing and then have to zig over to another, more pressing thing. I work a bit on that thing and then have to zag to a meeting. I leave the meeting and zig to issues that arise via email. I get through a few emails and than zag to a new problem that requires me to make some phone calls and put out a fire. I get the fire under control and zig to another meeting about something different. I get back to my office and zag back to the first thing I started with. And so it goes.
Here’s a sample list of a single day’s zigging and zagging. Just to state the obvious (one more time) – the day wasn’t one of methodically moving from one thing to the next, which is what a list implies. It was a day of pinballing back and forth and across and over and around and back again to these tasks and meetings:
- Editing and updating the full-time faculty hiring manual
- Drafting a formal response to a faculty complaint
- Offering comments on a draft Bellwether award application for ACC’s OER work
- Attending a meeting about how to trumpet more effectively (and more broadly) the benefits of the Texas A&M Chevron Engineering Academy so that we can recruit our allotted 100 students
- Recruiting folks to participate in a “transfer self-assessment” that ACC is working on
- Drafting the answer to one of the questions for the Leah Meyer Austin award application that ACC submitted
- Offering advice to a dean about eStaffing issues
- Sending off a brief description of a presentation I’m giving at the upcoming Texas Pathways conference
- Offering advice to another dean about a personnel issue
- Prodding some folks about a looming deadline for gathering initial information on campus moves
- Sending some information to the Grants Office for an addendum to the Texas Corequisite Project grant
- Inviting a couple of faculty to attend THECB’s Star Award luncheon in November (ACC is a finalist for our Z-Degree/OER work)
- Meeting with colleagues in IT about the infrastructure needs to support an effective early alert system
Pinballing between and among and across and down and over through all of the above. It was a typical day!
Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay. No attribution required.