Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Eternal Promise of the New Semester

The period immediately before a semester begins provokes a mixture of emotions in me. On the one hand, I can look at it as the end of a teaching-free time, and the beginning of setting alarm clocks and grading. And this semester, in addition to the usual fun, I have to prepare a tenure file, and possibly serve on a search committee.

But on the other hand, there was a reason why I always looked forward to the beginning of a new school year or even a new semester when I was a was on the other side of the education equation. At the beginning, anything is possible. You can see ways to be more productive, get tons accomplished, be the student or scholar you want to be. It's a time of renewal.

So in that spirit, I present my research/project agenda for the upcoming semester, a set of goals to keep me inspired when the grading threatens to drown me:

1. Revise book MS according to the suggestions of senior readers, write conclusion, and send off to publishers. deadline: September 15

2. Devise preliminary grants resource for people in my department: how to identify grants, sample proposals, how to navigate the Office of University Research. deadline: September 15; revise and expand throughout semester

3. Work on organizing co-edited volume with experienced co-conspirator. 3a: Draw up a list of people to harass invite to contribute; 3b: harass encourage them. various and sundry deadlines.

4. Pull together my own contribution for said volume. deadline: December 31

5. Organize annual undergraduate competition for Outside Project. deadline: December 1

6. Think about conferences, or organizing panels for same.

I'm sure I'm forgetting something, but this should keep me plenty busy -- unfortunately, most of this stuff is frontloaded, due by the beginning of October.

What about the rest of you? Come on -- the untouched semester lies before us, gleaming with promise, utterly unsullied by reality.


Belle said...

O. God. Is it really that time already?


Dr. S said...

You know what? My goals are so modest compared to yours (which is another way of saying: damn, woman, I'm impressed). I'm aiming for one hour of writing work every day. Just one--that's all. One hour usually nets me about a page, sometimes a page and a half. And that's a pace at which I could feel good about myself--around 30 pp. a month? Goodness.

I have a couple of conference deadlines--one for a conference in Cambridge next July; one for a conference next March--in September, but other than that, it's teaching and writing for me.

And being an auntie! And a godmother! But these are not research-related. They are forays back into my idiosyncratic, not-always-related-by-blood family life. This year, I'm going to learn to prioritize that part of my life, too.

Michael said...

1) Do homework on time
2) Read textbooks BEFORE watching movies or reading novels
3) Don't throw objects at annoying students in my practicum class.

My ambitions are a bit less lofty, but important all the same.

AcadeMama said...

Oh, not much here...just

-Prepare and revise writing sample and job letter by Oct. 1.
- Finish weekly schedule for class I'm teaching by Aug. 22nd
- Finish food/space details on symposium I'm organizing
- Finish last body chapter of dissertation
- Go on academic job market for the first time!!
- Sometime in December, I must prep for team-taught upper-level course with advisor.
- In between all this, revise dissertation chapters.

I'm sure this will leave plenty of time for um....wait, what else do I do? Oh yeah, be a mom.

Dr. S said...

And now I can say: first we have to get through the very sullied reality of moving back into our school lives... How did I imagine that this would literally happen overnight?

Appropriately, my verification word is "imazjd." I am in fact amazed.

clio's disciple said...

1) Revise current conference paper into article (deadline: Oct.)
2) Do editing I agreed to (deadline: Dec.)
3) Submit abstract for conference and start work on resulting paper.
4) Hope a ton of revision requests for other projects don't come back to me at the same time.