I can't help but feel as if this week ends a proverbial era. Could be my last week teaching as an assistant professor. "Tenure year" comes to a close. Although I've never really bought into pre-tenure hype (the "probationary" years are sometimes alleged to be years of insecurity and constant worry), working toward tenure does give you a pretty clear objective.
Can't say I've always maintained that focus over the past seven years, but it's never been all that far from my thoughts. Not complaining. Because UMD and Miami are both good places to work, I haven't felt pressured to compromise or re-prioritize in ways inconsistent with my own goals. I like what I've written and published. I like the classes I've taught. If the Board of Regents smile on me next month, I don't think I'm going to experience some sea change in my day-to-day life.
Still, that singleness of purpose will slip away. Replaced by other purposes. Travel more. Get a Fulbright and teach abroad. Sustain the service learning relationships and take them to higher levels. Experience a sabbatical. Enjoy job security. Be thankful for job security. Say no to requests that don't bring joy. Say no to committee work. Go to Jersey for Yo La Tengo's annual Hanukkah celebration. Take more pictures. Eliminate more negativity.