First, and before I get into the philosophy of this blogspace, welcome! Welcome to new readers (if there are any) and to old (who've followed me from my previous blog, which is in the process of self-destructing under the weight of its own limitations).
For those of you who don't know, "reassigned time" is something that college professor types on the tenure track can apply for to get a break (however small) from teaching obligations in order to - you guessed it - do other work. This is also known as "course relief," "course release," or "release time." One can receive this time for a number of reasons. For example, if one is chair of one's department or if one takes on being the department's director of graduate studies (should one's department have graduate students) one can often expect to get a "course reduction" (another term for this that I forgot about). Or, if one is at an institution like mine - a regional comprehensive university with a 4/4 load - one can apply for "reassigned time" in order to accomplish one's research (since there are no pre-tenure sabbaticals here, thank you very much). Oh, and I guess one can apply for it if one is doing some major service thing as well. You get the idea.
I decided to call this blog "reassigned time" because I feel like it's a title that reflects my lifestyle as an academic. I often feel like any time spent doing one thing (grading, for example) is time that must be "reassigned" from some other essential task (like eating a healthy meal, for example). Also, and I'm sure this comes as no surprise, I've actually got reassigned time this semester. No, this is not like a dream come true. While it's true that I've only got to teach 3 courses and to do two preps, the course whose time was "reassigned" was my one upper-division course, and two of the three courses that I will be teaching are writing courses (though I've revamped the writing course, which now has a theme of "celebrity" about which I'm very excited). So. I'm a person, a single female person, in my third year on the tenure track, at a regional comprehensive university in a metropolitan area in the midwest, who has been "awarded" approximately 6-12 hours a week to do the following:
- Co-edit a mini-journal
- Write an article
- Finally make my dissertation into a book proposal before the thing is totally obsolete
- Send out two proposals for conferences and make travel arrangements for at least one of them, should I be accepted
- Find the cash to go to that one conference, if not both, since it's in Europe and I can't expect for my dept. fully to fund it
- Make use of the gym membership that I bought yesterday to lose, at minimum, the weight I gained a) quitting smoking and b) eating enough for four people over the holidays
- Continue not smoking, oh, and eat better, too
- Dating? Can there be time for dating?
So that's me in a nutshell and the beginning of this blog. Stay tuned.....
(P.S. Yes, I'm in the process of redesigning the template, adding the blogroll, etc. But now I need to go eat lunch and then go to the gym, because I am all about the good use of time now that I'm in my new space.)