30 August 2010

Back to teaching, Fall 2010 edition

Today was our first day of classes. More than any time in the past, I’m not sure I’m as ready as I should be.

As an academic, we have three things we are supposed to do: Teaching, research, and service. In theory, we are supposed to be excellent at all three of those things all the time.

In reality, there’s often times where one of those three dominates your mental life. There have been points where I have been completely gung ho to be working on an administrative task. I’m serious, so stop laughing. Other times, I’ve invested a lot of thought into thinking about how I want to teach.

But right now, I cannot stop thinking about research.

To be honest, there have been fairly long stretches where I wasn’t sure about what I was going to do next, research-wise. This is not a great feeling. This year, though, things are different. I’ve already had my most productive year of my career, and I have several different projects where I know what the next steps are. I have several manuscripts I’m ready to write up and put out the door.

And when you’re on that much of a roll, you wish that you could just ignore the other two for just a little while longer. Even though you know you shouldn’t.

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