This is my first summer “off” as a professor. So far I’ve learned: it’s definitely not “off.” I’ve also learned it’s very difficult to respond briefly when someone asks, “So, what are you up to this summer?” I’m up to a great deal (I think — I mean, I’ve never done this before, so I have no real measure, but it feels like a lot), and it’s exciting stuff…
Some of my plans this summer:
- revise a book chapter
- revise a journal article
- move to downtown Fargo!
- 12 days of vacation
- 6 days in Nicaragua, scouting for a partnership between Lutheran World Relief and Concordia
- taking an intensive course at NDSU: Writing, Disciplinarity & English, taught by Paul Prior
- 7 days in Slovakia, scouting for a partnership between the Center for Christian Education and Concordia
- extensive work developing a new course Religion & Digital Culture to be taught by me next spring
- attend the Presbyterian Youth Triennium and informally present on Glory to God! The Presbyterian Hymnal
- lead a workshop at the Synod of Lakes and Prairies Synod School
- speak at Luther Seminary’s Stewardship with Adults Under 40 conference
- significant time reading and editing submissions for my book on wrestling with faith and college
- attend several days of summer faculty workshops at Concordia
Between and betwixt these events, I’ll be tackling a large stack of “must read” books that have somehow piled up in my office. (If you have any others to recommend, please let me know!)
On the one hand, this seems like a lot of work, and not much actual vacation. And, well, that’s true. On the other hand, I really do enjoy it and I’m thrilled for every opportunity on that list. (I’m also looking forward to pizza and beer on the roof of Rhombus Guys.)
While the amount of work to do this summer is similar to that during the year, the pacing is very different. I can travel to Nicaragua, for instance, and not have to worry about checking email and responding to students’ questions about paper assignments. I can read books without having to put them down to prep for the next department meeting. In short, I hope to focus my thoughts on one project at a time!
One of the first of these “projects” is vacation, one on which I’m really going to enjoy being away and not checking email, and unless a writing bug hits, not writing a blog post. So…until I post again: happy summer!
image by stephan fleet