One of the things about dissertating is that my time is wide open. No one tells me where to be or what to do. There are no classes, no assignments, no group meetings. To dissertate well, one must be super protective of one’s time.
I suck at protecting my time. Case in point: I am currently sitting in a school board meeting, after having attended a school site council meeting and sat through my six-year-old’s soccer practice. I’m here, at the school board meeting because I care, and today they are talking about issues of student achievement, and this district has an opportunity/achievement gap problem. Kids who look like my kids, who are only 2% of the district population! tend to score lower on standardized tests and tend to be placed in special education. 22% of all black children are classified in special education, and 31% of all black students who receive free or reduced lunch are classified in special education.
I could rationalize my being here by saying I’m collecting data for my dissertation, but that would be a stretch. I’m here because I’m part of a group of concerned parents about these issues and that concern is separate and independent from my dissertation work.
But, today from 3:15 to the current time of 8:15, I have now spent five hours doing “mom” stuff. (Update: I didn’t get home until 10. Please adjust all following times and calculations accordingly.) To be fair to myself, I also spent five hours today working on my dissertation, writing over 2,000 words.
But five hours of “mom” stuff is too much. I am not a stay at home who is writing her dissertation on the side.
What I did today, five-plus hours, is a part time job. And I spent two hours this morning getting kids ready and dressed and fed. So seven + hours — that’s actually a full time job!
But I am not a stay at home mom. I can’t spend seven hours of my waking hours doing “mom” stuff. I just can’t.
But how do I stop? How do I stop being involved? How can I NOT speak up in a meeting?
I don’t know. I really don’t know what I’m going to do. But tomorrow, I might just sleep. After I do my writing.