Tuesday, December 21, 2010

‘Tis the Season....

The Blog tells the tale – it’s been a long time since my last entry. Such is the cycle of academia – at the end of each semester the work piles up for both students and faculty, and there is little time for anything else. But, alas, my grading marathon of the last couple of weeks is done. The grades are turned in (as of yesterday) and I now look forward to the twice annual, end-of-semester clearing of the top of my desk.... (I know that desk is under here somewhere).

At home, that place that I’ve visited briefly from time-to-time over the last couple of weeks, I can now move ahead with holiday preparations. Holiday lights, decorating a tree, purchasing gifts, wrapping, annual greetings to friend and family.... all have been on the back burner. But I’ve still got to get the office cleared and prepped for the next semester – so here I am. Piles and piles of papers, quizzes, exams... all of which I will keep for now so that students can stop by to pick them up when they return in January.

But for many faculty, the “break” is often just a shift in focus. Instead of “time off”, it’s time to put toward other projects, those things that we had to put aside during the semester so that more time and attention could be allocated to students. A time for reports and administrative tasks (if you’re a department chair), for scholarship, for reading, for reflection..... But not too much – I’ve also got to get ready for next semester’s courses! But I think that can wait until next week.

Best Wishes for a great holiday season, and for the coming year.

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