Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Oh My God, Forms

Stress me out. My university requires that tenure-track faculty fill out these, um, tracking forms every fall. They're called Personnel Action Forms, and they consist of many little boxes into which the faculty member inserts information detailing her triumphs and tribulations over the last year.

There are letters and numbers denoting the different bits. The faculty member is required to include copies of the various articles, essays, and papers he has presented/submitted over the last year--which should be prefaced by some sort of index describing the projects. Cross-referencing and cross-listing are recommended.

It makes my head hurt. And it's one of those tasks that, interestingly enough, is dissertation-esque--which means that:
1) Sometimes, as you are filling out all of the forms (it's like a bureacratic 1AC for all the debaters in the house), you are alternately like, "I am awesome," and then, almost immediately, "What do I do? I do nothing."
2) It makes you forget, at times, that the point of academic work is not, in fact, ultimately all about the correct margins of the paper or the elaborate ritual that is parenthetical documentation.
3) You are not sure what the front should look like.
4) You have to show/explain it to different people who may or may not know what the hell it is you are talking about.
5) It is a cumulative project (meaning, you should be keeping the yearly records very clearly labeled and within reach, so you can just update them from year to year)--which sounds great, but if you are not good at organizing or storing things, you may need a glass of wine (or two) with lunch. Or breakfast.

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