Friday, August 13, 2010

What I am NOT doing

You know, I think that the best way to capitalize on sabbatical joyousness (and not sabbatical misery) is to think about the things I am NOT going to be doing in the next week when classes resume. I will not be:
  • listening to students pleading to get into another section of the course on a different day, because their work/play/sleep/therapy/childcare/class/travel schedule will not permit them to attend the day they actually signed up for the class.
  • preparing, facilitating, and attending 4 orientation events
  • attending welcome party for new doc students
  • meeting with advising and orientation staff from across the university to tell them about my program
  • participating in "welcome week" activities with new students to shill for the major
  • attending the "welcome" party for faculty and staff
  • making last minute fixes to my syllabus and web-based course presentation media
  • getting a key for the new smart classroom
  • scheduling committee meetings and attending bajillions more committee meetings
  • following up with university administration to see if the policy changes we recommended are actually going through
  • attending the teaching summit
  • meeting with doc students who think they might want to work with me
Now, all of that said, there are some things, even among those, that I will miss. While students complain, they also check in, show me pictures of their children, tell me about their summers and their plans for this year, and bring warmth and excitement that is contagious. The round of orientations and parties, while draining, is also a good energy booster, getting me into the spirit of a new year of possibilities. Setting out agendas for the next year's committee meetings is encouraging, expanding the opportunities of what we can do.

That said, I found the beginning of the semester for my six years as an administrator to be exhausting. Truly. It kicked my ass every year.

What am I doing the first week of the semester this year? Um, going to the beach. Yup. A solid week of watching the sunsets, listening to the waves, and reading the Kindle on the beach.

Am I bringing some work? You bet. Will I feel bad if it doesn't get accomplished? Nope.

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