I've been on a grading "retreat" this weekend. That is, I've graded a serious number of essays, and I've still got a serious number to go tomorrow before I can hold my head up in front of one of my classes. Of course, I'm totally behind in my grading in both classes, but it's most egregious in the one class, so I'm working hard. When this is done, I'll still have plenty to do, alas. A bit more than one month until I'll be done, including grades. Sigh.
I'm doing something I really believe in on the service end. I was all excited talking with a Senior Colleague, and I could see that he saw I just hadn't yet poured my heart and soul into some service enterprise, hoping to make real change around here, and gotten the report or proposal completely shelved. He has. That's probably my future. But for now I'm still excited and hopeful, though I doubt this group will do things my way. I can hope. Anyway, there's still the off chance I could see one of my ideas bear fruit.
Anyway, obviously I really need summer to get here so I can turn into a person again. I'm not sure being so invested and excited during my off time is a good sign. At least for the other things I really want to get done.
I've been thinking about the kind of professor I want to be, now that I'm "mid-career." I think I can't help but try for institutional change agent, because I don't want to go into administration and here getting Full means doing a lot of service as well as research which is just plain impossible unless you're super-efficient, and that's just not going to happen. In fact, being an institutional change agent is probably the service way to Full, unless you piss people off, probably, as I am likely to do, though pissing people off or not pissing people off, it leaves no time for the research part. Well, I have plans.
I am announcing to the world that I am working on the Great Project. If in five years, I am not shopping around the Great Project, I'll frankly be pretty pissed off at myself. Truly, I'd like to try for a sabbatical and get it done in two years. I haven't shared with you all that I managed to place Little Project. It will come out later in the year.
It's sad and lonely working on Memorial Day weekend, which is no doubt how my students feel at the moment. Everyone's out having fun. I'm reading my students' essays, having a different kind of fun.
(I should explain that the reason I'm not calling it grading jail and why I'm not kvetching all about the grading in the most animated terms I can find is I'm trying to regulate my emotions about this. Part of teaching is grading. If I have a bad attitude about it, it will come out in the grading, which is not good for essays that I'm going to passing back and having to deal with their reactions to my comments. I have to take the long slow road here because there's still a lot to the quarter. I have a feeling in a month my tune will be very different. Don't worry; the snark can't be held back forever.)