I was wondering the other day why I’ve managed to get so little scholarship or blogging done since classes started in August. Why, why, why? Is my middle-aged brain incapable of nimble, complete synaptical connections? Am I lazy? Am I distracted? Too much wine at dinner? Then I remembered: I’m teaching 2 new classes this semester, a team-taught undergraduate class on the History of Sexuality in America, and the graduate historiography class (or as I call it to make it seem less intimidating: Introduction to Historical Practice.) So, lots of lecture writing and new-book-reading is what’s keeping me busy. No doy.
Apparently, my tiny brain only has so much room for innovation at this stage of midlife. I think that age and/or complacency has a lot to do with this. I used to teach a 3-3 load, write articles, make progress on a book manuscript, and win nationally competitive grants! (Maybe I peaked at 33? Maybe this is just what it is to be an Associate Professor at a beleaguered Aggie that’s down 6 or 7 tenure lines in the past 10 years?)
I’ll have a post up this weekend about all of your wonderful (and speedy) responses to Tony Grafton’s challenge for more specifically grounded descriptions of the “crisis” in American universities. If you just can’t wait, please see this thread for lots of smart, detailed, and contrarian views!