Thursday, May 24, 2007


Once you turn in your grades, it's clean up time, in all sorts of ways. You write notes explaining to students that yes, I was disappointed by the final assignment you wrote, too, because it's obvious to me that you can do really smart work, but alas, that assignment wasn't up to snuff, and here's why. You write back and forth with the registrar's office about students who disappeared late in the semester.

Then there's the retirement party. We had a cluster of retirees this year, and had a nice party for them. That party makes me realize just how wonderfully witty my colleagues can be. There were a couple lines that wow, just make me wish I were that witty.

But mostly, the party made me realize how very much I'm going to miss one of my retiring colleagues. This colleague's always pleasant, somehow always calm, enthusiastic, happy to chat, supportive. We need more folks like that. Heck, everyone needs more folks like that. But I wish my colleague a long and happy retirement.

(Will we get tenure lines to make up for the colleagues who've retired, or will we just hire a couple more adjuncts and get pressured to increase our class sizes? State Budget says: HAH!)

That past, I'm transitioning into summer work. I have a non-academic related thing; when it needs attention, it needs attention. It needs attention, and if I get it in order, things will be back to good, and needing relatively little attention as usual.

My reading group met last night at the local Frontiers book box. We put some great looking books on the table, so I'm really excited by that reading! And yeah, what a good, cool, fun group of people. (How the heck did I get involved with cool people? It's a mystery!)

It's strange to get up and not be thiking about what I need to teach or grade; I need to get my brain around the other stuff. For some reason, this was a really tough winter for me. I need to both enjoy the summer and find strategies to enjoy winter more. (I hate being cold! I need to get more exercise! And so on.)

Summer Goals

I need to set aside a half hour+ a day to work on my new language. There's a whole writing thing I need to learn, in addition to the basic vocabulary and grammar stuff. It's fascinating, but the only way I can learn this sort of thing is a slow slog.

Study for a century ride. (I feel silly talking about "training" for something, but I can study for it! And seriously, would it hurt to not rain so much now that I have some time to really ride?) (No, my new bike won't be in until JUNE! I'm mildly frustrated.)

Revise and resubmit a paper. Revise another paper for submission. I have a third paper idea, but need to do some background work to figure it out and see how my idea fits with all the things that have been said about the text.

Read! First up, Michael Berube's What's Liberal about Liberal Education.

Get connected with a local birding group I just heard about. Saturday mornings, 6:30 am. I can do that, right? Learn more birds and about more birds.

Plant two trees, and some other plants in the yard. Plant some shrubs. Make the area a better bird/bug habitat.

Figure out and put in my book orders!!!!!! (Weirdly, late as I am, I'm in the pack, I've been told.)

Spring clean the house, weed the garden, enjoy the warmth.


  1. Hey B --

    The cold is going, finally! Last night I played a benefit concert and found it really difficult. Breathing without coughing was a challenge, but 3/4 of the way through the evening, surprisingly, things started to clear up. I'm about 85% today. I'm hoping to be 100% by Sunday so I can go for a long ride. I'm itchy.

    I love your Summer Goals list. I might rip off the idea over in my blog. For the next few days, I'll be moving house (Oh! What fun) and thus it seems like a good time to re-evaluate, etc.

    Oh, and it's funny (as in both strange and ha ha) that you think of "studying" for a century. I invert the whole idea when approaching my academic work -- The only thing that got me through my comprehensive exams was to think of "training" for them. Training and writing are now weirdly interchangeable for me.

    No new bike till JUNE? That's horrid. :ot

  2. Anonymous6:13 AM

    I'm reading What's Liberal about the Liberal Arts, too, and it's awesome -- I've been zipping through it much faster than I thought I would.

  3. Sounds like you've got a great summer planned! Training for a century? How cool! I know what you mean about that weird post-term feeling. I still can't believe that I don't have to get out of bed to read for comps..

    Good luck with everything!

  4. I'm working on a late book order...
    What did you think of the Berube book?

  5. Hi Amanda, Glad to hear you're feeling better. What did you think of the century study schedule thing?

    Thanks, Meagan :)

    Timna, I think it's a good book; I thought it was best at the end.