Monday, January 18, 2010

research

I have a small course release that allows me to travel abroad for a few weeks this term for research. I'll be returning to the country of my dissertation - and I find it ironic that even though I've been there many times, I'm still nervous about some of the traveling logistics. For some reason, traveling in the country where I worked this past summer for the first time gives me no such apprehension. It will be nice to be back in dissertation-land, I think, though it will be strange to be there on my own.

Because of this course release, my teaching load has been smaller than normal, and my inability to get shit done even with this reduced load makes me particularly depressed. This is not a good sign, as I'm currently trying to decide when I should take my pre-tenure leave -- this month's inactivity suggests that I will waste the entire leave, regardless of when it happens. I need to get myself motivated. Damn it.

I've found that I'm particularly bad at planning long-term events -- like pre-tenure leave. What term? Which year? It doesn't help that the nature of my work is so grant-driven that we often end up finalizing whether a project will run only a month beforehand (though that probably isn't so very rare - aren't we all grant-driven to some extent?). I'm worried that I'll make plans and end up with no field work to do, or that I'll make plans right before some amazing opportunity presents itself during a term when I would be teaching. I don't know why this stresses me out so much - it's not like I don't have stuff to do in the lab, or writing to finish. I think it comes down to finalization - I don't like having things locked in too far in advance.

Academia, you are not conducive to my love of short-term planning.

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