As I write this I have a yellow legal pad in front of me with the words “Things to get done this summer” written on it. I wrote this back in early May and I seemed to have divided the page into two sections.
The first section is entitled “MUST.” It includes a list of tasks with a deadline attached to them. The list includes finishing two encyclopedia articles, finishing an anonymous review for an academic journal, completing my book on Christian America, making an index for Confessing History, writing a lecture I need to give in October, planning for my new job as Chair of the Messiah College History Department, wrapping-up an essay I am writing on evangelicalism and Anabaptism for a forthcoming edited volume, conducting two research trips to Greenwich, NJ, doing a few book reviews, and completing my work as a juror for an academic prize.
As I look at this category, I realize that I have completed 17 of 21 assignments. Not too bad, but there is still some work to do.
The second section is entitled “POSSIBLY”. It includes a list of things that I wanted to get started if I completed everything on the MUST list. For example, I wanted to write an essay about narcissism and the study of history, write a book proposal, write a chapter or two for a book I am doing on the Greenwich Tea Burning, conduct research for the book proposal I had hoped to write, and write a grant proposal.
Needless to say, none of this got done.
Yet I find myself, in a way that I never have before, ready to surrender my summer to the demands of the academic year. I am eager to teach and be around my students. There is even a small part of me that is looking forward to being a department chair. We will see if I feel the same way around Thanksgiving.
A few days ago I asked my student readers if they were excited about returning to college life. Now I ask my professor readers–are you looking to get back into the saddle?
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.