So. Strictly speaking, there are a lot of things to talk about. For a start: how about that Presidential Primary, right? But I’ve been very busy and stressed out and tired, and getting back in the habit of semi-regular writing is hard. (She whined.)
But the only way to get it done is to do it, so here I am. What’s been up in my world lately?
Let’s start with the big one: I was tenured 12 days ago. It was…a huge relief, and just about as awesome as I hoped it would be. My tenure was never really a question, but that Impostor Syndrome thing is real, and you are always afraid, somewhere buried deep down inside, that you won’t succeed, even when you know that this one is largely in the bag.
So what have I done since tenure? Well, I changed all my e-mail signatures and my letterhead, and ordered new business cards. 😉 Beyond that, nothing new. I have things that need doing, and I’ve been trying to catch up. I’m almost caught up, which is lovely.
There is a summer research experiences for undergraduates (REU) program here, for which I became director this past semester, largely because it looked like it might not happen if I didn’t take it over. We have ten students on campus, who started last Friday, and so far they seem mostly happy with their lot. I have a fair amount of secretarial work to do on that score – they need to be paid and fed, etc., and I have to requisition money for these things. I also have one REU student of my very own, who is eager and, as always, somewhat disappointed that fly work takes two weeks to REALLY get going. Had I been less “drowning in my own work” this spring, I might have gotten flies going for her ahead of time.
Or not. We all drop the ball on a few things a semester. But she will have some lovely data by summer’s end.
I am revising my Human Genetics course right now, to include less lecturing, more in-class student interaction, and to eliminate high-stakes exams. One of my “once I get tenure” plans was to figure out how to evaluate student learning without exams, and also without losing my mind.
The good news is that I have tenure and a fully-funded lab right now, so my summer will be less “write grants like crazy” than it ever has been before, and while I have 2-3 papers in the queue, I have less immediate pressure to push them out. (Though I have two that should just be DONE already, so I hope to get them written by August.)
I also plan to revise syllabuses for three other classes, work on changes to our M.S. degrees, and actually talk to my students on a regular basis. Ah, summer.
Oh, and I have a big meeting to go to in Florida in July.
My home life is equally busy right now…my son “graduated” from preschool last week, my daughter’s kindergarten promotion is tomorrow, and we’re moving to a new house in a new city on Friday. Did you all know that a kitchen takes three DAYS to pack properly? Yeah.
Overall, I’d have to say life is pretty good. How’s yours?