The summer term begins, which means a new routine. For the first time in six years, I'm teaching during the summer months. Two sections of first-year comp keep me in the classroom most of Tuesdays and Thursdays during May and June. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are writing days, at least when I'm not assessing placement essays. Writing priorities look something like this: 1) the rhetorics of empathy book project, 2) the review essay I'm writing for JAC, 3) the Fulbright grant that's due on August 1, and 4) the ongoing service learning research (particularly composing the first two essays that are growing out of the data).
Many things on my mind and I've found the best strategy for avoiding that sense of being overwhelmed is to keep working steadily on all the aforementioned projects. On my mind: Tomorrow I get the official tenure decision. Today I began to wear a two-week "event monitor" to chart my heart's electrical activity. Sources of stress, to be sure, but not to the point that my day-to-day's changed.
Good things on my mind, too. If all goes well with the Board of Regents tomorrow, I'm set to take over directorship of the Civic Engagement Project which will mean running this academic year's Faculty Fellows program. Connected to CEP, deepening the relationship with NSO's housing and homelessness programs is a high priority. That relationship has already created some powerful experiences. Next week I'm taking a group of our students to their breakfast event in Dearborn. More to come on this. And little things, too, provide joy. Today, off to a late Cedarland lunch with my friend Steve. Next week, Animal Collective in Royal Oak. Plus, the joys of staying connected with students, thanks to the two sections of Comp 106 this summer. Soon, this year's garden adventure begins, not to mention a list of things to do in the yard/around the house. In a few months, the ten-year (!) anniversary. Oh, and must get back to Paint Valley very, very soon.