- That by a quirk of scheduling this week I got to teach what I really do think may be my absolute favorite thing of all the things I teach. On the surface, the story is depressing. Dead parents, dead-end lives, and attempted suicide are all parts of this text. And yet - and yet - there is the fact that there may be a blow-job in this text. Ah, 'tis so fun! The laughter! The blushing! The wonderful discussion that results!
- That I finished one big stack of grading.
- That I'm really at home at my university. Good to have realized this and to feel really solid about it in my tenure year. And nice to appreciate just how great the community here is and how great my colleagues are.
- That I have the privilege of teaching my awesome students in my most awesomest class ever. I am so sad that so many of them are graduating this year!
- The fact that my upper-level class in my field for the spring has already reached the enrollment minimum, that it's populated with students that I for the most part don't know, and that juniors haven't even really begun scheduling.
- That once again I've been invited to a celebratory dinner for a student honorary society. The students choose who to invite, and not every faculty member gets one of these coveted invitations, and let me tell you: the awesome students in my department? They think that I rock. I love that this is true.
- That what angst I'd been feeling about the book and about the tenure process seems to be in check. I'm not saying it's over - it ain't over until the fat lady sings and all that - but I'm feeling centered and good and like the world might not come to an end. Revolutionary.
- That I finally seem to have come to terms with the fact that while the job isn't the end-all-be-all, it is something that I really love, and there's no reason to feel badly about the fact that I love it as I do.
- That I don't actually feel disappointed that I may be out of the running for JWIBSNA. This is really groundbreaking, that this fact isn't fucking with my sense of self-worth.
- That my article does seem to be inching, however slowly, toward publication, and that it's an article that I really feel makes a significant contribution to the field, which I have rarely felt about my scholarship.
- That I saw one of my first students ever at this institution, the first student who shouted "Hey, Dr. Crazy!" across the quad at me (which was huge as I was newly minted and nobody had ever done that before), a student who did not start out as an English major and whom I converted, and in spite of some sucky circumstances over the past year or two, the student is doing fantastically well and is about to graduate and hurray!
- That everybody loves my hair. Ok, so that's not an academic thing per se, but I've gotten lots of compliments at school about it, and so I'm throwing it into the mix even though it's a stupid thing to care about. Also (as this is the fake bullet of academic happiness) I feel that part of the reason people are giving me all these compliments is because the weight loss is just generally making me look better. And it's been inspiring me to dress better for school, partly because I have clothes that actually fit me properly what with the 8-10 lbs I've shed. And so no, this isn't really academic happiness, but it bleeds over into my academic life.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Things That Make Me Happy
I don't want to be all gratitude-journal-y, but I've been trying over the past few days to focus on the positive, and I feel like the academic blogosphere, given our point in the academic calendar and the job-search season and the grad school application season, can use some warm fuzzies. So. Here are the things in my life as a professor that make me happy today.