Day 403: Transitioning Back to “Normalcy”

It’s once again been over two months since my last post, for shame. But in the time elapsed, I’ve moved across the country and started teaching again, so there’s that.

Even now, I have little to report on the DOS-D front. I’ve received comments on that first chapter from my chair, and I’ll be receiving a second set from another advisor in two days. (As a decidedly interdisciplinary scholar, I like to get opinions on my work from different disciplinary perspectives before I chop away at it too much.) Then the editing process will begin, but I’ll only put in a round or two of edits before letting it sit for awhile because I really need to be focusing on the next chapter.

The second chapter currently feels like it will be easier, but something tells me this is a false feeling. At least I’ve already done some of the research-viewing and about half of the research-reading. Still, I’m anxious once again to have something to physically show for myself. And…truth be told, I haven’t done an ounce of work on this second chapter since I arrived back in Chicago just over a month ago.

…All of which brings me to the actual “subject” of this post: reacclimating to a regular schedule of teaching and other campus-related responsibilities has been much tougher than I anticipated. It’s not that I haven’t been able to dust off and apply those good old time management skills, it’s just that I’m out of practice on many things, so they require more work. Grading, for example, is much less efficient than it used to be for me. I am more easily tired out than I used to be after teaching a couple classes, attending a lecture, catching up on email, and doing a little reading–it used to be that I’d have enough energy to go out to dinner and/or a show and/or drinks with friends afterwards but now I can barely drag myself home before collapsing into bed or a hot shower.

It may be that this happens to most academics after a fellowship year where the main priority was working on a manuscript–suddenly the responsibilities have multiplied again and we have to remember how to juggle! The other problem, in my case, is trying to put a home together again. There just isn’t time to go shopping for couches and bedframes when I have 30 papers to grade every week! But I’m slowly remembering how to speed up the various processes that used to be second nature, so hopefully I’ll be able to finish nesting and carve out real chunks of time for my next chapter soon!