Day: February 10, 2022

Random Bits of Thursday

Before the pandemic, hubs and I loved to go to a local comedy club. We’d usually catch the late Saturday show (there’s one in the early evening and another one late).

For the most part, research-active faculty in my department teach one course per semester (there is a formula involving amounts of grant money, number of advised research students, number of papers and proposals, etc., versus teaching expectations for a given year). However, due to booming enrollments, we sometimes have teaching overload. I happen to do well in the classroom with undergraduates, so I teach large-enrollment undergraduate courses more often than most (I actually like teaching undergrads, but it still doesn’t make it fair that people get to suck at teaching and get rewarded for it with small graduate classes and thus extra research time; however, this is a rant for another day). This semester, I haveĀ  teaching overload, in that I have a huge-enrollment undergraduate class with discussion, and a graduate class in my specialty. I teach them both on the same days.

I don’t know how it is for truly extroverted people, but I have to get into performance mode for teaching. I get pumped (loaded with adrenaline) before class in order to prance around, talk loudly, draw and do math on the board, and make nerdy dad jokes. And then a little while later I have to do it again. When I am done for the day after the undergraduate class, I feel completely drained. I sit in my office for close to an hour just trying to reset before I can go home.

This must be how those comedians feel after that second show on Saturday night.

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This semester is kicking my butt. Three days are taken by teaching and meetings, one more day with non-stop meetings (literally nonstop, 9-6), and finally one day where I do get a chance to do something requiring some thought. Weeks really fly by, but it feels a bit like madness.

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A writer friend of mine who had a successful law career has sold a couple of novels and now actually writes full time. I am in awe and very proud of them. When we last chatted, they said there was huge pressure to make subsequent books do well (they’re working on their third, and the second is about to come out). Not sure why it surprised me to hear about the pressure, it should be a no-brainer really, but it did. The friend is living the dream (they wanted to be a full-time writer and they are) but it might be an anxiety dream.

There is never no pressure.

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I may or may not be writing a novel. I may or may not have already have a pretty detailed outline and I may or may not have already run it past two trusted writer friends / beta readers. There may or may not be pretty detailed character sheets in my mind at least. I may or may not be insane to take this on in addition to everything else.

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I did just get some really nice accolade (with money) from my institution.

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Even if I write the novel and I sell it and it does well, I don’t think I’ll ever be as brave as that writer friend of mine to go writing full time. Maybe after ten novels that sell well. Make that twenty. Make that becoming Stephen King.

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If you’ve read this far, here’s a nice Easter egg for you: I will be putting out a new book based on the blog. I am planning it for early fall. I have awesome cover design commissioned already. It will be very different from Academaze in content (mostly the last five years), but also intent and tone. I’m really excited to work on it this summer.

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I’ve always battled doing too much by taking on even more, with the extra being the stuff I actually want to do. Counterintuitive, but it helps. With lost of passion projects, I have plenty of exciting nuggets to intersperse among the less-enjoyable activities. Like tiny joy-filled cushions.

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What have you been up to, blogosphere? How’s early 2022 treating you?