Gentle Reader, it has been some time, I confess, since I’ve written to you. Several months, in fact, and so much has happened in the interim! But what I want to write to you about today is something I’ve been working on for a few weeks now, thanks to the fabulous advice of Dr. Kerry Ann Rockquemore, whose articles on the tenure process helped me as a junior faculty member, and whose new advice for those newly tenured is helping me now!
One of the things Dr. Rockquemore recommended in her article a few weeks back was to buy a tenure journal. I am a huge fan of May Designs, and use their daily planner template as my weekly planner (long story!), but decided to check out the local Barnes and Noble to see if there was something different. I chose a Moleskine Pro notebook and am pretty happy with it! I’ve followed Dr. Rockquemore’s advice the past few weeks and reached out to friends and colleagues for help.
This morning, I woke up early–as is true with dogs, they know no difference between “work day” and “weekend,” and it’s my chore to take mornings with the pups, as The Husband stays up later than I do, and thus sleeps later. One of the exciting things about having adult dogs as opposed to puppies is that they’re pretty self-sufficient after you feed them and let them out. I remember when Moxie was a baby, she would cry and whimper all morning long unless someone was giving her constant attention. Now, it’s just half the morning! 🙂 But both pups settled down, and I got some writing done.
It’s been a while, Friends, since I’ve sat down to write creatively. I lost my momentum when I stopped writing daily, and getting back to writing has been like edging off a scab. It hurts, and it’s hard. But I’m plugging away at a new MS, a intensive rewrite-from-scratch of an idea I had about 12 years ago. I’m averaging about two pages a day, on my writing days (I don’t write on Tuesdays and Thursdays, because I teach early and all day).
After I wrote, I showered and decided to leave the house to get some schoolwork done: an academic promise for a colleague, some grading, and my tenure notebook. After the promise was completed, instead of grading, I sat down with my notebook and started sketching out all the projects that have been on the front and back burners of my academic life, everything I want to accomplish in order to go up for full professor.
There’s a lot! But the good thing about getting tenure and promotion is that I’ve got time, time, time to pick and choose projects, where they’re placed, what I want to focus my career on from here on out. And it’s a good feeling, because I work in two nearly disparate fields–18th-19th-century literature and young adult literature–and while the two coincide in some of my projects, they don’t in all. Putting down on paper what I want to do, what I’d like to see myself working on, was a nice exercise.
Now, time to get back to work, because I’ve a 3-prep semester and several independent projects with students and committees and obligations and such, plus laundry! Plus cleaning! Plus napping!
Ignore the napping part. Just pretend you didn’t read it!
Hope to see more of you soon, Friends. Thanks for reading.