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Monday, February 16, 2015

Four hours

That seems to be about the maximum I can spend on the sabbatical work before my mind starts to grind to a halt. I've been trying the "get up and walk around every 45 minutes" thing today, and whatever it may do for my body, I can't say it's making a hell of a lot of difference to my mental stamina.

Part of the issue may be the actual part of the work I'm doing these days: I'm creating an overview (actually two of them) of the critical material, so the system is read an article, write a precis for students, note the article as read, and repeat. Of course, as I think I mentioned yesterday, I often end up either making note of or tracking down other sources, cited in whatever article I'm reading but something I've not located through my own searches. Today I tried not to do that (keeping too many plates spinning), but now I'm concerned that I may have missed some important references that I really do want to track down, so--even though I'm pretty well done for today--I may have to go back through the articles I worked on and pull out those dratted sources, at least noting them in my little project notebook so I can locate them later.

I'm also aware that I've put the psych course very much on the back burner because we don't have class this week--but I probably shouldn't let it go too long before I head back into those waters, too: not only do I have a class to prepare for next week, but the paper is due in two weeks (that's when the exam will be, too), and I haven't read the articles I found for my paper yet, never mind anything else. I may be reassured about my ability to cope with the material, after having talked with the professor last week, but I still wonder if I've completely lost my mind to try to juggle the course and the sabbatical project at the same time. And I will say that my experience with the class has completely proved my assumption that there is absolutely no way I could take grad courses and teach at the same time. I can only do this because I don't have to teach, grade papers, do committee work, all the stuff that goes with the usual job. I wish to hell I could chip away at a Psy.D. while I'm still gainfully employed, but it just ain't gonna happen. I am already thinking maybe I should take a statistics course (undergrad) over the summer--as that's a requirement for most programs--but the thought of it is just too daunting at the moment.

But that's summer. It's still February. I have time to continue to think about whether I'm really up for it--or if maybe I want to do it some other year. No hurry, after all.

The main thing is that I am enjoying this work--the class, yes, but even more, the sabbatical project. I wish I could keep at it longer, produce more in a day, but it feels wonderful on multiple levels. I have time to think about what students need, how to present things for them in a way they can grasp, but I'm also reading literary criticism, which I hardly ever do any more, so I feel almost like a scholar again. I don't have to do anything very scholarly with what I'm reading, too, which relieves some internal sense of pressure and self-judgment. Nice.

I don't have anything else of note to report out of the work today. I'm not sure how much I'll get done tomorrow (I have a social engagement right about when I'd normally start working, which may bitch up the schedule entirely), but again, that's not a worry for now: that's tomorrow. For now, I'm going to gradually down-shift into evening mode, when all I'm good for is noodling. If there were awards for noodling, I'd be a world champion.

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