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Looking ahead to summer 2019

Topics/tags: Overcommitment, short, rambly

Today, I was updating my curriculum vitae, or CV [1]. Once you reach my age, one of the nice things about a CV is that it helps you remember things you’ve done or how many times you’ve done something. I know mine is incomplete [2,3,4], but it’s complete enough to help remind me of many things I’ve done.

One of the things I looked at today was the section in which I list students who worked with me on summer research projects or independent studies. Well, that’s not entirely true. I list the projects they worked on; my understanding is that FERPA does not permit me to include their names except in the cases in which I am describing shared publications or presentations. I wish I could list names; it would help me remember better. In any case, I was looking at that section [5]. The entries remind me that I do most of my more intense work with students in the summer. That makes sense; my semesters are generally busy with classes and service.

Then I started looking for the gaps. I realized that, even though I was a bit better at taking time away from students earlier in my career, I haven’t taken very many summers off since I started at Grinnell. As far as I can tell, I’ve worked with students eighteen of the twenty-one summers I’ve been at Grinnell [6]. Well, maybe it’s nineteen [7]. Perhaps it’s not surprising that I’ve accumulated MAP releases that I need to use up.

As importantly, I realized that I have supervised students every summer since summer 2011, including that summer. That’s eight summers in a row. Some summers likely represented a reasonable workload. Others, like the past three summers of code camps, required more than full-time work and took a lot out of me. I certainly enjoy working with students. I primarily do summer work with students to give opportunities to students. At times, working with students also helps keep me focused. Nonetheless, this coming summer, I need time to myself, for both work and recuperation.

[1] Record of Life, as I understand it.

[2] It is also probably not entirely up to date.

[3] It certainly needs some more spell-checking and other editing.

[4] It also needs some typographic work; I have at least two cases in which a heading appears on a separate page from the associated content. I also have a bunch of overfull hboxes (or too-long lines, in normal human terms).

[5] Page 12, for those who want to take a look.

[6] I did not take MAP or MIP students in the summers of 2005, 2008, and 2010.

[7] I just checked my notes. I did have two students in the summer of 2010 working as funded assistants, rather than as MAP or MIP students. But I traveled a lot that summer. If I recall correctly, I generally left those students on their own to learn Drupal and, if I recall correctly, to try to build a Plans-like system. I would think that working with less supervision was not the best of experiences, but at least one of the two students told me that it proved invaluable for getting a job. And both have certainly been successful. Of course, they were awesome people, so it’s not surprising that they have been successful. In any case, I’m not sure whether or not I should count myself as having students that summer.

Version 1.0 of 2018-10-09