I’m finding that this semester is a bit overwhelming right now. My class meetings and work load have shifted only slightly, and yet it appears to have upended my normal routines and scholarly output. I also must confess to being MUCH more focused on politics and current events than I ordinarily would be. And, apparently, I am not alone. The Atlantic published a piece noting that 29 percent of their small sample say they feel more distracted and less productive at work these days, mainly due to checking social media and news more frequently since the election. This tendency is no doubt exacerbated–or caused?–by the rather slapdash debut of the current administration.
For my part, I am waking up to the fact that I have been woefully lazy in my civic engagement, and have decided that now is as good a time as any to get involved. Thus, I have found myself doing more calling and writing to elected officials, more social media outreach, and more attendance at rallies and events that I think matter right now. This, of course, all takes time and energy, which would ordinarily be directed to professional matters.
And, so, I’ve come to the realization that I may be simply treading water this semester, rather than moving forward. I have a book review coming out soon, and I am waiting to hear back about a grant. I am making plans to hit an archive, funding by another grant, and I am working as a campus peer reviewer for the improvement of teaching. So, it’s not as though I am doing NOTHING. It just feels like a bit more nothing than usual.
So, to wrap up, there is no blog of substance this week, just this missive to tell you where I’m at right now. And hopefully, you’re at least treading water, too–it beats drowning!