When I plan out my semester, I always imagine that I am going to have big chunks of time to devote to my writing. Then at about the third or fourth week of the semester, it occurs to me that I forgot to factor several million annoying tasks in to the equation when I came up with my grand plan for the semester. This week I have been reminded suddenly of one of those tasks: writing letters of recommendation.
I have 16 letters to write tomorrow. Every time I check my e-mail, I get another request from a student. I like these students, I want to help them out, but I hate writing these letters. I resent the time it will take. I also have papers to grade, course stuff to read, classes to prepare for, an administrative report to write, a course proposal to be drafted, e-mails to answer .... and suddenly, the couple of hours of free time I have tomorrow are not nearly long enough to do what needs to be done.