Summer: Work, Vacation, and Balance

A popular question I get during the summer is, “how is your break?” I wish that I could say that my “break” was wonderful, but that wouldn’t really answer the question.

The fact is that we don’t really get a break as professors. Summers are when we try to squeeze in all of our major research projects, our side projects in service and teaching, and — just like most people — fit in a little vacation time (about two weeks for me this year) with the family. So my level of activity did not really change much when classes stopped. I still have gone into the office everyday. However, it is very nice to have the change.

So what did my summer consist of? Revising a book manuscript, creating a new web resource for students on writing and research (will be tested this fall and hopefully made public next spring), writing letters of recommendation, redesigning our African Studies website and gearing up for my new administrative responsibilities there. Oh, and trying to stay on top of about six other research papers that I really need to just finish and send out.

And of course, doing this while experiencing all of the joy (and sleeplessness) the parent of a one-year old can experience.

The good news, is that I enjoy all of this!