I appear to have what I believe is a cold. I believe that this is a cold, and not allergies, because Footloose has reported a scratchy throat, the appearance of which neatly coincides with the appearance of my congestion. Further, two days prior to these happenings, CC reported similar symptoms, which I dismissed as allergies, and we hung out. So either we all have allergies, or we all have an awful end-of-summer cold. Breathing out of one nostril, it is not fun.
But so yes, the semester is off to an… interesting… start.
My classes are fabulous. They are full of students (which may not seem like something to brag about, but given the situation of some of my colleagues, this is something to brag about), the students are enthusiastic and excited about the material, and my return to a MWF schedule remains the best decision I ever made. I am very excited about what I will accomplish in the classroom this semester, and about what my students will accomplish.
Kind of on the back burner until mid-September, though I am going to try to get another article polished and submitted.
I’m applying for two NEH grants, and I’m applying for an internal grant, too. All of those deadlines will happen by October 1.
I’m applying for full promotion, and that deadline is September 15. I figure I’m about two thirds of the way done with putting all of that together, and I should be done-done by September 12. The process is tedious and exhausting, and I am totally flying without a net since I’ve had virtually no mentoring and since we are moving to an electronic format for the first time. I’m trying to convince myself it doesn’t matter if I get it.
Service and the institution:
This is where things get really interesting. Lots of Big Initiatives and Big Changes afloat at my institution. None of this is a surprise, though I fully expect many faculty to be SHOCKED and AFFRONTED and for the rumor mill to go into overdrive with paranoid conspiracy theories. We hired a new president two years ago, and in that two years we have had a massive administrative turn over, as is typical. We also have a new strategic plan, and we are coming up for our accreditation 5-year review. And we are revamping our budget model – which dates back to the 1970s – and assessment is HAPPENING although most people outside of the Colleges of Business, Health Professions, and Education seem to have been unaware that this was coming (huh? what planet have they been on?). And apparently we are also “revisiting” our General Education program.
And I apparently am going to be the Assessment Guru of my College.
It looks like I am back in the thick of things, in spite of my efforts to scale back over the past couple of years and to get the target off of my back. Indeed, I feel like the target is large and red and has flashing lights.
Whatever. If I learned anything from my work on curriculum a few years ago, I can handle a target on my back. I will live to fight another day, whatever this academic year holds. I’m not sure that others will be able to say the same.