It’s mid-semester and the accumulated unfinished business of weeks 1 through 6 have piled up as the same time that the end-crush of anticipated grading for semester’s end looms. As graduate officer, right now is possibly the worst time of year, work-wise: I’ve got more than a hundred applications to review, as well as four or five separate funding competitions to adjudicate with the committee. I just went away to Michigan to give a talk and attend an incredibly exiting one day seminar squarely lined up with exactly what I’m working on. Then I took my daughter to Florida (for three days) to see my parents. I have another talk, in Pennsylvania, in less than three weeks. There’s a dissertation on my desk from a committee I’m on, and two of my students have proposals in front of me.
The weather is cold, and dark, and damp and, along with all the piles of work, cues “hibernation.”
This is the time of year I tend to panic, freak out, and go into denial. But I’m going to try something different this year. Check out this Royal Tern, which I snapped in Everglades National Park last week:
|I have an awesome hairdo.|
The guide on the tour told us that Royal Terns always face into the wind. And as we looked around we could see them all on posts, pointing their beaks right into the headwind.
|To-do list and Margarita scale distorted for comic effect|
I’m making lists of things I need to grade. Lists of assessment criteria for admissions. Lists of committee meeting dates and times. Lists of travel arrangements that need making. Facing into the headwind of a rapidly advancing semester.