Saturday, December 1, 2012

Whoo. Or: why I haven't been around much lately

So, yeah. This chasing-tenure thing. It feels a bit like chasing one's tail, or what I imagine that would feel like if I actually had a tail.

This has been, pretty much, the Semester from Hell (which I knew was going to be the case going in, and one of the reasons why I went to Europe for six weeks this summer was that I wanted to fortify myself). I hadn't anticipated being appointed to a search committee, nor being contacted by a journal out of the blue to review a book (which was gratifying, especially since the book turned out to cite both of my published articles, so I wasn't about to say no). But pretty much everything else was predictable, and stuff that I voluntarily let myself in for, including the other book review, the QEP committee, revisions to two different essays for two different edited collections, chairing a panel at the annual writers' conference, interviews for prospective honors students, thirteen credits' worth of teaching, three honors thesis committees, etc., etc., etc.)

I think I really need to learn how to start saying no to things, but I find it really hard to decline things that might involve a) free books; b) money; or c) tenure. (Actually, I'm still close enough to grad school that I'm a sucker for free food. Pathetic.)

The teaching gods are merciful, and sent me mostly good classes. (Even in freaking Basic. I had a grand total of eight students, all of whom came to class on time, turned all the assignments in, mostly followed directions, and are all, accordingly, going to pass the class. If you have never taught Basic Comp, you have no idea how much of a miracle this is. Maybe they are actually teaching them something useful in the Academic Success Center or whatever it's called this year, or maybe I just got insanely lucky.)

Whew. Last class taught yesterday; second book review sent off today; time to raise a glass and chill out for a bit.

... Oh yeah. Grading.