Spring is in the air here in south-central Pennsylvania. The weather man tells us that it may hit eighty degrees today. Later this morning I am heading off to the opening day festivities of the Mechanicsburg Girls Softball Association where my seven-year old daughter will play her first game of the season for the Fran Weimer Photography Wildcat-Superstars. Sometime after the game I need to mow my lawn for the first time this year so that it does not look like a jungle and I can get my eleven year old daughter to stop saying, “Dad, the grass is up to my ankles!” There is a pile of mulch in my driveway that needs to be spread and last night I climbed up a ladder and installed our removable screen windows. My wife has posted on the refrigerator door a list of more things for me to do . That list includes caulking the bathroom, cleaning the deck, and painting the swing-set.
Of course for those of you in the academic world, this time of year can be crazy. There are papers to grade, exams to write and grade, end of the year events to attend, and committee work which has to be completed before the end of the academic year. Now I don’t like to complain, but this year it seems as if my Spring is unusually insane. Not only am I sitting on three very active committees at work, but I am swamped with outside writing projects. Between now and mid-May I need to do the following:
- Write a book review for the American Historical Review that is already late
- Write a book review for a popular religion and American history website
- Submit a few more posts in my role as guest contributor at the Front Porch Republic
- Write a short essay on the state of the field of colonial American history for the College Board
- Write three entries for the forthcoming Encyclopedia of Early American Philosophy
- Review two manuscripts for academic journals
- Give public lectures at Colonial Williamsburg, the Westmoreland Historical Society (VA), Rutgers University, and the Hermitage (NJ).
- Conduct a one-day seminar on the Constitution for teachers in Brooklyn.
- Write a peer review for a colleague’s tenure-file.
- Write a report for a history department where I recently served as an outside evaluator.
And when this is all done I hope to spend the summer finishing my manuscript: “Was America Founded as a Christian Nation?: A Historical Primer for Christians.”
So, why am I sitting here blogging instead of getting this all done? Good question.
What does your spring look like? Feel free to use the comments section to whine, complain, and rant!