Looking back, crawling forward…and still trying to find balance

The posts on this blog have not been as frequent as I might have hoped this academic year. However, the lack of posting should not be misconstrued as inactivity on this end. Erin and I often joke about our “to do” bullet a.k.a. “things to do in our copious free time”… the list just keeps getting longer and longer (but the copious free time is a finite if not a scarce resource, alas). We keep finding more and more things to explore, tweak, read, review, plug in, break and fix. One discovery leads to another and another… so while it might appear (due to the silence on this blog) that we are just lolling about and enjoy the lazy hot days of summer, the reality is we are up to our eyeballs and simply have not had much time to write things down.

June is a deceptive month in academia… one has the (mistaken) impression that weeks and weeks exist between now and when the schoolyear begins again… which of course is totally misguided. By the time you get through the end of the semester, find the bottom of your desk, find your office floor (a fave filing spot), finish out the fiscal year and all of the paperwork that entails, and then sort through all of the paperwork that other people have sent you while they were finding their office floors….it suddenly becomes the end of June, leaving you really only a month do get anything substantive done (July) before the first week of August, when the faculty start trickling back to campus.

Perhaps paradoxically, the more I work with and in online environments, the more books I take out of the library. Some of my favorite bloggers (Barbara Ganley being front and center on this list) make lists of books they are reading, have read, are considering re-reading as part of the re-tooling that has to happen between semesters. For these bloggers, it is clear that there is clear and informed thought going on behind those words… that blogging about education (or edu-blogging) is not just a blurting out of words but a careful and thoughtful reflection on what we do in the classroom.

Following BG’s lead, I have gone to the college’s library and (sometimes with a wheelbarrow) taken out books, requested things on interlibrary loan, and have created quite a collection that I will savor this summer. Time, again, will be the problem… but I have a few plane rides lined up this summer so I think I can get to them before the fall onslaught. (I have also noticed a similar pile forming around Erin’s desk, so thankfully I am not alone).

But before I write anything more, I first I need to feed the dogs, make a list of chores for the (still slumbering) kids and check out today’s bullet list for work.

life and work and blogging and reading and bullet lists and a sense of accomplishment (however fleeting that may be!): It always has been and will always continue to be about finding balance…

Barbara is a Lecturer in Hispanic Studies at a small liberal arts college in Maine. Rumor has it this was also her alma mater. She used to work for a small liberal arts college in the cornfields of Ohio for almost 20 years as a teacher and language center director. Prior to these adventures in higher ed she taught high school Spanish and loved it. She wishes she had more time in her life to play with her dogs, write, read, swim, do yoga things and making stuff out of clay. To see her online portfolio please click here!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: