A graduate student takes to Inside Higher Ed to describe her current reality.
Like most people, I came to graduate school because I was smart, curious, and inquisitive; however, now that coursework is over, I spend most of my time grading essays, writing emails, communicating with administrators, and writing grant proposals. None of my day-to-day labor is particularly intellectually rewarding, and I am suffering because of it.
Life as a contingent faculty member will also be like that. Life on the tenure track might be more bearable, if she's lucky enough to hire out at a department that protects its junior faculty from a lot of the bullcrap administrivia.  There will still be a lot of grading, dealing with electronic mail (and the ability to send a clueless inquiry at near zero cost at any hour guarantees that there will be a lot of clueless inquiries, and more than a few will be cluttered with attachments) and writing grant proposals.  Survive the tenure mill, however, and the bullcrap administrivia will hit the fan.

She suggests, however, that academicians take mental health days, which she refers to as Scholar Dates.
The goal of these dates is to get out of your normal rut and experience something new. This cannot happen in your pajamas within sight of essays to be graded and dissertations to be written. No exceptions allowed.
Indeed so. And, dear reader, get beyond the usual academic ruts.
[V]isit a brewery, take a tour, participate in a tasting, and ask the brewmaster questions. The same goes for wineries and artist studios, too. Any sort of artisanal experience has the potential for learning, so cast your net wide and look for learning opportunities in any skill that interests you and enjoy some beer along the way.
That's a start, but that still reeks of the academic rut.  Use your imagination.  You'll likely be a more effective scholar the more conversant you are with the ways of people who may never have heard of your discipline or your institution and yet make their way.

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