I normally get totally jealous around this time of year that my college professor friends are wrapping up their year while I still have at least a month left, but this year I actually need all the time I have left! There are three weeks of classes left, then finals week, and then a week of faculty meetings before it's officially summer.
Mostly I need that time because we're doing a late spring hire for next year. My friend and colleague who's pregant (yay!) was going to teach three courses for us next year is now going to be gone for part or all of the year, so we need to hire someone to teach those courses. But everything's up in the air because my colleague and the head of school are negotiating whether she's going to teach part of the year, get maternity coverage for the rest of the year, and then have her job reserved for her for the following year, or not teach at all next year and we'll hire a permanent part-time person. She announced her pregnancy to the administration on Monday, we put up a notice of the position that afternoon, and the applications started coming in. But then the negotiations started going back and forth, and we won't know until Monday whether it's going to be a partial-year maternity leave or a permanent full-year position. And then I'll have to do phone interviews ASAP and try to get our top candidates in for a teaching demo, all in the last three weeks of school. Yikes.
I also need some extra cushion of time because of all of the other department chair bits and bobs that happen at the end of the year. Fortunately, we just wrapped up the selections for our junior and senior AP courses; last night I sent 101 emails to individual students and their advisors with their "yes" or "no" news -- tedious & super tiring, but so good to be done with it. Now we have a few petitions to deal with, plus we have to decide on our four departmental awards and I have to buy gifts and write speeches for them, plus there are the gifts and speeches for departing department members.
And then there's my actual teaching, which keeps taking a backseat to administration, one of the many things I haven't enjoyed about being department chair this year. My AP students took their exam this morning and felt very prepared for it (yay!), but I haven't graded a single one of their research essays. Because of course on top of all of this school work, there's the fact that D. is at home recovering from surgery, and I spend a surprising amount of mental energy in refilling her ice-water shoulder contraption and counting out her doses of medicine (which I put in little baggies with a note about when to take them during the day) and, most of all, thinking of meals, which is normally her job.
It's all been exhausting and promises to continue in that vein, and I'm certainly counting down until summer (5 weeks!), but I'll be racing until the very end this year.