"I wouldn't say I've been missing it, Bob."

Have I read anything since February 20th? Absolutely, but it's complicated, and I haven't read as much as, or in the same way that, I'd normally prefer.

Most importantly, I'm a juror for a book prize. This means that I've read about fifteen books, rapidly and judgmentally, since mid-February. For obvious reasons, I'm not yet able to talk about those, and I won't be able to until after the mid-June announcement. This is my first time on such a jury, and I don't know that I'm cut out for it: everyone is awesome, everything is amazing, and how the hell do you choose? It's one thing to feel this pressure in a rich industry (hello, Emmy's!), and quite another when you're dealing with Canadian literary and academic presses.

The pressure's a nightmare, but the reading is deeply rewarding -- well, almost all of it, anyway....

More quotidianly, once bargaining concluded here at UVic, I moved back into the classroom on a full-time basis. I'm a platypus, technically, because we have a tenure-like line called "teaching professor." That's how my position is classified, so while I've got no publishing obligation, my teaching load is eight courses per year (unlike the four or five for research faculty), so I'm teaching four per term. Generally I've got three sections per term of composition, but sometimes two, plus one or two other things (most often this, this, or this), and all this is vastly more than is supported by the research.

And it turned out that in my three years of bargaining, I developed some unsustainable teaching and assessment practices (Utopia for Everyone!), and I'd also forgotten some long-ago-evolved tricks for managing workload (We Can Do Everything!).

So that's been fun.

Adding all this to the usual kinds of family and assorted personal things at play, I'm planning a summer of recovery. A certain amount of casual travel (the Okanagan in July, maybe Yellowknife in August), a little bit of academic travel, lots of reading and cooking: this starts now, or I won't be ready for September. And I really, really want to be ready for September--though a joyful summer may be higher on my priority list today!


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