Monday, December 06, 2010

Not much to say

This time of year is so in-between: classes are over, but there's still plenty to do. Holiday stuff is ramping up, but I'm not quite ready to do it. Here's what I posted over at IHE today:
Classes are over, so I’m breathing a sigh of relief, right? Well, in a word, no. Now we hold all the meetings that could wait until the end of the semester. Now we clean up the mess in the office made by being too busy to do so all semester. Now we grade. Now we get sick (not on my to-do list, but my son spent two days at home last week with a nasty cold, and I fear it may not be far off for me, either). Now people call with questions that have been answered three times already, but not recently. Now it’s time to send out reminders for next semester. Now there’s holiday baking (or knitting, or shopping — or, in my case, all three). You get the idea.

I love this time of year, really I do. There’s a snap in the (very cold for Virginia) air today, and I feel energized by it. Later in the winter it will bring on the desire to hibernate, but it’s early yet. And I like the variety of having different things to do. While my classes this semester were truly a pleasure, it also felt good to wake up this weekend and know that I didn’t have to prepare for them. I wrote a book review instead, fulfilling an obligation that I took on back in September when it seemed as if November wouldn’t be all that busy. I guessed wrong about my workload, but got the work done in the end.

Shifting gears keeps things fresh. One of the reasons I love academe is that it’s rarely the same from day to day or season to season. Classes have their own personalities and rhythms, requiring new approaches even to what might seem familiar material. Next semester I’m teaching a brand-new class. I’ve taught all the material in it before, but never in quite this configuration, and I find myself looking forward to seeing what it says to me when paired up differently.

But first there’s this semester to finish up. The papers will come in soon and the grading will start and blogging may be sparser as first the grading, and then the holidays, consume my attention. I wish you all the variety you can stand, as the seasons shift around us.

No comments: