Skip to main content

I’m back (I think)

On the evening of the last day of classes this semester, a colleague asked something like Are you okay? You’ve stopped posting your musings. I told them that I was okay, and gave a short explanation. I thought I’d write a longer explanation as I restarted writing, but here it is two weeks later and I’m just getting around to it.

Here’s the short answer:

Yes, I’m fine. Other things just got in the way.

The real answer is slightly more complex. If I recall correctly, I stopped musing on Thanksgiving. You’d think that would be a day I could (and should) muse: I had a long weekend and I was getting to spend time with family, for which I am very thankful. But I spent a lot of time cooking [1] and cleaning that day.

After that, well, it was mostly the wonder of the last two weeks of the semester. I had a lot of grading to do. So I didn’t feel comfortable spending time writing when I could be grading. When I finished grading each night, I decided that I should prioritize getting some sleep over spending the time to muse, even the time to muse briefly.

It’s me, so there were also other things that got in the way. I had a continued argument with some administrators over what I feel is a significant undermining of faculty governance [2]. I dealt with four cases in which students appeared to violate standards of academic honesty. And I wanted to spend time with family [3]. I finally finished grading a day or so ago, about ten hours after grades were due.

That’s not to say that I didn’t think about musing. On many days, I reflected on possible topics. But I didn’t think the time to write trumped the time to grade, to prepare classes or exams, or to sleep. There’s one particularly complex musing that I spent too much thinking about (and doing some research on). I hope that I’ll get that one written soon.

I still have a lot of preparation to do for next semester and a lot of other work to do. But I’m down to three courses instead of five [4], so I should have time. And I have a variety of musing planned. In addition to the involved one I mentioned in the previous paragraph, I plan to muse on academic honesty [6], on the College’s new focus on measurable outcomes, and perhaps even on my attempt to deal with sending my laptop in for service. I’m sure things will come up.

And, since it’s break, I might even find time to figure out how to set up an RSS feed for the musings [7].

Stay tuned. I can’t promise it will be exciting, but it will … um … something.

[1] Let’s see … I made turkey, ham, and brisket; baked yams, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, an sweet potatoes with marshmallows; green bean casserole, stuffing, rolls, and potato-leek soup; and a few other things. Students made salmon and a few other things. Michelle made cranberry sauce. And Jonathan and his friends made a gross or more of bagels. It was a long day.

[2] Unsurprisingly, the administrators suggested that they had not undermined faculty governance. I disagree. And that’s all I’m writing right now.

[3] Including celebrating Michelle’s graduation. I’m so proud.

[4] Officially one full course and two half courses instead of three full courses and two half courses, but it feels like three and five [5].

[5] Note that your normal teaching load is five courses per year. I’m teaching a significant overload.

[6] I did, after all, deal with way too many cases.

[7] I know a few people would like to see a feed. And I’d learn something by figuring out how to write one. We’ll see.

Version 1.0 of 2017-12-30.