Month: April 2021


Recently, I received news of a senior female colleague moving to a high administrative post. This same colleague told me years ago that I was not cut out for administration. I don’t think she was wrong, but it still stung, and I still begrudge her for it—who the hell is she to tell me what I can and cannot do? In hindsight, the above comment of hers, which she made when I was an assistant professor, did erode my confidence in my administrative abilities, and consequently the opportunities I sought or didn’t; we should all be careful when we wield discouraging words, even if—or perhaps especially if—we think we know better. 

It is, however, true that I have no intention of going into administration. I might do it if I absolutely have to, but not for any longer than necessary. (Maybe I wouldn’t feel this way if the colleague hadn’t made that remark, but I guess we will never know.) The thing is, I find working with people to be emotionally taxing, seemingly much more so on me than on many others, including those who successfully hold administrative posts for long periods. I don’t know if these individuals are naturally even keeled, or they are just good at disengaging their emotions from the job at hand. I can  compartmentalize, but only for a limited time, and couldn’t do it for days on end. 

I prefer to be boots on the ground, working with students through teaching and research. It is also probably good for everyone involved that I keep doing the things that both utilize my strengths and benefit the core mission of the university. 

What say you, blogosphere? Do you covet or avoid administrative posts?


Mid-semester This and That

Work has been crazy and I am definitely old. What I mean is that I feel the fatigue of increased workload the way I never used to when I was young.  A week of 12-14-hour days for a proposal crunch? These days it takes me a week, if not more, just to physically recover. (Incidentally, S5E10 of Scrubs hilariously shows how binge-drinking affects people of different ages.) I feel groggy and slow and the body just craves pampering and soup and Bollywood movies. (Bollywood comedies are among my go-to recovery binges. Young and pretty actors, vibrant colors, hilarious and  wholesome storylines — what’s not to like?) 

Anyway, this semester has been busy and productive, a bunch of papers out, several more in the pipeline to be out later this year, some exciting proposals in and some new leads for collaborative work, all in all, I am cautiously optimistic about the next couple of years, at least.

Fiction writing has been on the back burner, which is fine. I wrote like crazy in 2020 and it paid off. I’ve been a member of HWA  for a little while, and am now qualified for a SFWA membership. The goals from a couple of years ago, fulfilled; it feels really good. The next steps include some sales of longer stories, perhaps a flash-fiction collection and, if the proposals are funded this summer, I will be able to devote some time to a novel (or novels). There are a few options I would like to explore, which were received really well in short-story form and might work well if expanded.

A month of teaching left, and then into another pandemic summer. I’ve been fully vaccinated, and we’re hoping hubs will soon be, too. I think the kids are counting on us traveling somewhere, but it’s really hard to project anything. We definitely need to get away, but it doesn’t mean that we can. (Pandemic aside, I kinda hate summer; it’s too hot, and it’s such an extroverted season, the season for people who want to be outside, doing things, with others. I’d thrive in a temperate climate with gray overcast skies and plenty of rain. Alas, hubs doesn’t like rain.)

Anyway, the semester is in full swing. Teaching masked students in person hasn’t been too bad, especially with mandatory saliva testing. It has felt  almost normal, with the added benefit of me not having gotten a cold or the flu all winter (likely because of masks, too_.

I’ve had a bunch of interesting ideas for posts in this space, but there’s never time to write when the spark emerges, and then  it’s gone.

So, for now, this.

How’re you holding up, blogosphere?