has become one of my favorite pastimes. This is ironic because just a few short years ago I absolutely loved email. In fact, I wanted to live my life essentially through email. Of course back then, email was the place where my friends and family were, and that in nice, manageable doses.
These days email is simply where the fires are. Not little fires, but giant all-consuming, raging wildfires that cannot be put out no matter how much you work on them. Email is the suffocating mountain of future labor beneath which I will be buried and with which it always feels vaguely as if I am digging my own grave.
I am directly responsible for nearly a hundred students this semester. They email me, on average, twice a week each. I get 3-5 emails on average from each of the dozen or so faculty members with whom I have words. Then there’s all of the professional mail and mail related to prospective jobs, publishing, and of course family and friends. I average about 150 replies a week (more than 20 a day for every day of the week), it takes tons of time, and it’s not nearly enough; I fall ever farther and farther behind my email queue, and it gets ever more complex and difficult simply to sort through the thing.
Also, I have to take more walks in the park.