Friday, October 1, 2010

Hello Fall!

So I'm back, or almost back. I've turned in most of my grades. And for unbloggable reasons, I'm not teaching during the fall quarter. So I've already, tonight, a mere hour after I turned my grades in electronically, made lists and lists of what I want to accomplish in the next three months.

I've been very burned out -- at least on teaching and service. I had a crap class. The other class was new to me, the first time I taught it. I had some great students in there, and it went decently. But with the article I was writing and the annual report early in the quarter, I got behind on things and never really caught up. These students were really great about it. But the situation also made me feel like crap, even as I was taking mental health days.

Perhaps it was just that I starting settling into my second year -- a colleague noted a slump in hir own second year. Or maybe it was my grandfather dying and all that and not having the time to deal with it. There were a bunch of other things too that made me disengage from work: the fact that morale is so low there right now that paranoia and cynicism are prevalent; crap teaching; disheartening service; Absurdist Tot developments; and a growing love of all things gardening to the point that I really wanted to be gardening or cooking all the time and suspecting that I'd chosen the wrong path for my life and now I'm stuck with all these student loans and no way to go and live simply and close to the earth somewhere.

Interestingly, I have an insane list of things I want to get done in these three months, but even though there is an intimidating number of items, I feel tired (now) but excited to be able to focus finally on those things. I'm planning to spend a certain decent amount of time each week on scholarship and creative work. And then there are, unfortunately, even now some service things I need to do. Usually I don't mind service -- am even excited to be part of something larger than myself -- but when I think of doing these things, the wind immediately sucks out of my sails. But what is noteworthy here is that I'm not burned out on my scholarship and creative work. That's good. That means that I probably did not make the wrong choice of career.

I've been sort of haphazardly reading blogs, sometimes preferring not to read academic blogs because I'm burned out on academia. I just don't even want to hear about teaching or students or dumb colleagues sometimes. Because I just don't want to spend my personal time on hearing about the academy, I've been checking my favorite blogs less often instead preferring to read about homesteading and small farming blogs, learn more about FarmAid and Because of all this, I'm wondering about whether Absurdist Paradise should morph to reflect these new interests. Partly I'm thinking that the blog has to change or else soon I'm going to feel disengaged from it because it represents only a part of my life. This wouldn't be so bad but I feel sort of weirdly closeted at work because I can't talk about my current passions, so I think if I did that here that I would soon disengage from the blog too. So there'll either be more food and farming talk more here at AP or the blog I started for that several months back will become more important. I don't know yet. Y'all could weigh in on your preferences.

So that's what's going on here on Absurdist Paradise Farm. (Oh wouldn't that be awesome!) Glad to be back, neighbor.


Renaissance Girl said...

YES YES YES bring on the food and farm posts!

Fie upon this quiet life! said...

I write about everything at my blog, so don't be afraid to come over and peep. I, personally, feel like academic blogs that ONLY focus on academia should take a freaking chill pill. That is only one aspect of who I am. I've got a billion other things to talk about. You should too! Don't think that a blog has to be as unified as a monograph. It's your place in cyber space - use it however you need to.

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of you writing about things other than academic! Farm, food, baking, all that! Go for it!! I agree with Fie. While I was trying to move away from my whiney persona that I felt I had become, and I feel like I talk more about teaching and my classes now, but I think it's because I have more positive things to say about it because my guy came home. So I say yes to all things Absurdist! :)