Saturday, April 18, 2009


All right, all right, so I haven't exactly been doing research this week. I did, however, finish grading that set of essays. I still have one more set, but because of the Week of Busy Weirdness, I haven't even started. Because the Week of Busy Weirdness is over, I don't even care that I haven't started these essays. I had the kind of week where we did lots of good important things, but so many of them were emotional and conflicted and hard that I definitely feel I'm going to be processing them for a while. (For example, yesterday I went to a funeral.)

One of them, probably the least conflicted of all, was that I got the contract for my job! Yes! One of those mystical animals that are rarely seen: the tenure-track position. I'm sorry I didn't tell y'all sooner, but it wasn't real to me -- which means I could've jinxed it by publicizing it -- until I got the contract. (Which is why I was blogging and then basically dropped out of sight. At first, I was freaking out everyday and had nothing new to say. Then I got the offer, but it took ages until I got the contract and so was paranoid.) I will be fully employed soon! It's a good position for me, I think, because of the mission of the department, though it's not the kind of university I saw myself at. (Of course, two schools that were totally the kind of places I thought I'd be best at contacted me after I accepted the offer. Grrr. Well, if they had gotten their butts in gear sooner. . . .) While not all of the faculty have books or anything, I do think that research is very important there, so I'll be trying to pursue a pretty aggressive research agenda -- which is crazy because I don't even have a firm idea of what to do next and how to think about my research agenda beyond turning my dissertation into articles. If anyone has a good way of thinking about building a research agenda (I mean of course I have a rough one, but I could always use the extra help), please please please let me know. Boice and others don't seem to talk about the project of building a coherent research agenda! I guess we assume that everyone wants to do their research enough that it's merely about following one's interests. For me, the problem is I"m interested in so many different things that I wonder what is smartest for me to do first and how to balance long-term and short-term projects so that I have enough scholarship for tenure. Anyway, the university is in a totally different part of the country, so we're packing ourselves up and moving the second my semester is done here, which is early June.

We're ecstatic to be leaving Urban Home City, which really feels to me a lot of the time like a dying city. Cross your fingers we'll be able to find a place that has a lot of land for my gardening obsession.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Magical Month of Academic Publishing Challenge!

Everyone! Sisyphus has thrown down the gauntlet and proclaimed a Magical Month of Academic Publishing (MMAP)! And let's face it, I need it. So I'm going to blog progress and effort in the upcoming days. Really.

But first I'm finishing up the last few days of spring break (can you hear me crying???) and have to grade grade grade. I have writing projects from each of my courses, though I've already graded their midterms, which should count for something. While I doubt I'll be able to do everything before Tuesday because I don't have any uninterrupted time with Absurdist Baby (who by the way is going to be 6 months old in 11 days!!!), I must get at least one set done. The hard set. From the class who hates me. Who I had to institute reading quizzes for. Ugh.

But I'm very excited about the idea of working on scholarship. I can't wait. As soon as I'm done grading.

*****Update midnight*****

I am only now done with my eight essays. Absurdist Baby is having a really hard time right now with all his new teeth (a new one up top) and he keeps waking up and crying. For a while there I was only getting one essay done between having to go and take care of him. Am exhausted. Eight more tomorrow and the next day. I'm sure tomorrow will be easier, because I've already started.