Sunday, August 22, 2010

Another year

This summer hasn't been the one I'd planned. At the beginning of the season I had surgery that has improved the quality of my life enormously, but much of the summer has been diverted to incorporating that surgery into my life--coping with the terror of the suddenness of it, adjusting to the sheer freakiness of being cyborg, and beginning the process of rebuilding fitness. (I'm up to 22 miles for my long bike ride of the week, so that's proceeding very nicely, TYVM!)

So practically nothing else that I'd planned for the summer has actually happened. Now here I am, a week before classes begin, working on syllabi that I'd ordinarily have finished weeks ago. Tomorrow Syracuse's week of faculty orientations begin, and that involves me for three days on campus, so I have a lot of work to do in not very many available days. I've got plans for both courses well worked out (and will be talking about that here and on the teaching blog). But having plans and having syllabi are, sadly, very different animals.

The semester is going to be busy-busy. I'm on 12 doctoral exam or dissertation committees, I'm advising Writing majors and first-year Arts & Sciences students, I'm chairing my department's lower division curriculum committee, I'm my department's liaison for the Future Professoriate Program, I'm teaching an intro class and an advanced one, Sandra and I are working madly on data analysis for the Citation Project, I'm keynoting at the Center for Academic Integrity conference, the Georgia Conference on Information Literacy is featuring a Citation Project workshop, I'll be doing two regional symposia related to Writing Matters, and the Beloved Partner and I are planning our annual weekend with the fam at the Cass Scenic Railroad during the fall foliage season in southern West Virginia. The spring? Even busier.

Even though the swoosh of the semester is imminent, scooping me up and propelling me through 15 weeks of unabated lunacy, I can't feel any regret. I've had a terrific summer, and there's never yet been a semester that I haven't been happy to have arrive. Let the lunacy begin!

Does it sound like I'm giving myself a pep talk? Eh, yeah.