Ah, Saturday…a break from the daily grind, a chance to spend time with family and friends, have some fun, catch up on domestic chores or simply to pause and reflect.
Not necessarily, if you are an academic.
Diaries that university teachers are keeping about their working lives as part of Share, a research project, show that for some, Saturday is just another working day.
“It makes no difference to me whether it’s a Saturday or a Sunday or any other day of the week: there is an impossible pile of work to get through (and always some bureaucrat thinks up another blasted form that needs filling)…I inevitably work seven days a week,” one diarist writes in an entry dated 15 January.
“I work every weekend during semesters,” agrees another scholar.
A third reports rising at 7am on a Saturday to get a head start on their marking, while a fourth expresses resentment about a “three-line whip” from their department to attend a weekend admissions event.
Others point out that the nature of the job means that their work is never finished.
“I do things and think about things connected with work every day of the year…The experiences I have as a professor infuse my entire life,” writes one.