So, I still don't know about sabbatical and other things I applied for for, but I do know this: I, somewhat to my surprise, was awarded a course release for next semester!!!! Now I have the enviable task of deciding which of my four courses I shall drop from my schedule. Now, the class that I want to drop from my schedule is my online class, but I think that would be a) mean to a colleague who'd have to deal with the fallout of that, and b) would not give me as much bang for my buck time-wise. So that leaves my other three classes, all of which I really enjoy. I know which one I *should* drop - the one that is currently under-enrolled. That said, I don't want to drop that class because I really feel like it's one that should be offered. However, it's currently under-enrolled because it currently doesn't count for anything but elective credit. (All that will change in Fall 2010, when the revised major goes into effect, but for now, it ain't worth it for students to take it, in terms of time to graduation issues.) I could keep it on the schedule for now, knowing that if it gets canceled I can just pick up a section of a gen ed class. But then that leaves me to wonder whether I should drop my evening class, even though that is also a class that I would hate to be dropped from the schedule.
Gah. This is the problem with course releases when you care about teaching and when you teach shit you care about. I know, this is a great complaint to have. At any rate, I'll need to make some decisions by the end of the day today.
But so anyway, I had not really been terribly optimistic that I'd get the course release, and, rightly or wrongly, I'm feeling like the fact that I have gotten it is a Sign.
And so also but so anyway, I'm now starting to get really excited about mapping out a schedule for the Big Post-Tenure Research Project (also known as The Next Book). I really want to commmit myself to using this release time in a way that gives me something to show for it research-wise, but this means that I'm going to need to be ruthless when it comes to protecting that 9-12 hours per week that I'd normally be spending on teaching that class. I think my plan will be to block off two afternoons per week that are sacred for doing research stuff (with the only excuses for getting out of that work being for search committee stuff). Otherwise, I think I'm going to be very clear about making myself unavailable for meetings, for events, for whatever for those two afternoons. If I really do the above, I think I'll be in excellent shape come summer to hit the ground running with actual writing.
You know, this is the best time in the life of a research project - when you haven't actually started working and you're all filled with hope and grand ambitions.
Ok, time for me to get myself ready and to get myself to campus.
1 year ago