Hi everybody!!! I’m back after three weeks of sad computer and even sadder WordPress issues! I think we have all made friends again.
I have been thinking about about what it means to be a slow professor, and in particular I have been reflecting on the privilege embedded in the concept of taking your time in an academy that wants you to publish like you are spitting out widgets (or you are fired) and that presses so much work from adjuncts and staff that the academy itself becomes indistinguishable from the worst corporate citizens.
As a full professor in this system, I do have a lot of privilege, but it seems to me that means slowness matters even more with privilege. Slowness is not just for yourself, to protect your health or to protect to your own time with your own family. It IS for those things. Slowness is about making time for what is important and what is not.
1. Slowness means that as a full professor, I bring *reasonable expectations for productivity* to evaluating tenure and promotion cases that I have been given to evaluate. None of this “in my day I had to have 39 papers and $50 million” bull crap.
2. Slowness means that I stand up and *refuse* to let my colleagues dismiss or count against time junior colleagues have taken for parental leave when we are evaluating deservingness for promotion.
3. Slowness means that when I can do work for overloaded colleagues, particularly other women and especially women of color, I volunteer to do it out of respect for their time if there is any I can fit the task into my existing workload.
4. Slowness means that if I see work, crappy teaching times, or an overload of difficult classes fall onto adjuncts, I step up and take the icky teaching time or one of the classes. Cheerfully.
5. Slowness means I take time to speak up and speak out for others in the institution who are not as protected as I am from blowback.
6. Slowness means I respect other people’s time as much as my own, so that I support benefits and leave time for _all employees_, support attempts to unionize contingent faculty and at-will staff.
7. Slowness means that if any of my colleagues have a childcare glitch, my office and my time are open. I love kids, I hate work, and I love visitors, snacks and games, so I’m always here. If they need me to fill in for them on a class, I am willing to do so.
8. Slowness means I have time for students’ problems, all their problems, from their problems in my class to their professional and personal worries. This is particularly important. I let time go lightly when I am with students. Nothing helps people grow more than time. I don’t know what quality time is. I just have regular old time. It is meant to be shared.
9. All of the above is the same for colleagues, too. I am here, fully here, to listen and help whenever I can.
10. I have time to speak to injustice, abuse, and harm in every institution I belong to. I have time to apologize, properly, when I do something wrong. I hate time to learn to do better for my students, my peers, my colleagues, my neighborhoods and my friends in supporting them as they speak their truths.
Bonus point: Slowness recognizes that it is a privilege to serve other people.