I finally submitted the tenure dossier! The experience was incredibly draining, not for any external reason (although I would have appreciated a 1 hour workshop by my university on the electronic submission process they decided), but because I focused all my mental energy on it. Everything else fell by the wayside. I have piles of things to grade, I didn't blog, I had to schedule dates with my husband to make sure I was giving him some time. That is how an ADD mind works. It can be inattentive, but it also hyperfocus. And I had never hyperfocus so much in my entire life. I would come home and just feel exhausted. I would have dinner, go to bed, get my Ipod Touch, and randomly surf on the Internet for hours. I probably bought more things online than I needed, as a mechanism of self-gratification (don't worry, I didn't max out my credit card or anything, but I am usually more cautious with my spending).
One thing I did while preparing the tenure dossier was going back and reading this blog again. It was incredibly helpful in articulating my personal essay, as I realized that this is why I value blogging the most. It allows me to write and explore about my favorite part of my job: my teaching. I am just good at it. I am willing to take risks, design 300-level civilization and culture classes without using textbooks that challenge and engage students, and when those risks pay off, they pay off big time (on the other hand, I probably won't be teaching Business Spanish anytime soon). I made connections through the blog, and I even got a publication opportunity by somebody that liked my blogging voice.
I turned in everything two weeks ago, and I will not know anything until the beginning of March. Things should go smoothly, but who knows? For two weeks, I was just exhausted. I couldn't go back to blogging, since I had said everything I wanted to say in my personal essay. I also got sucked by the election, did some volunteer work, and I am happy that my swing-county in my adopted swing state went blue again (it had gone blue in 1964, and it only went Democrat again in 2008). Beyond my happiness at the overall results of the election, it was satisfying to see that I live in a more progressive city than many people give credit for. A city that has seen an amazing transformation in only 5 years, that makes me want to get tenure not only because it is reassuring and gives me job stability, but because I wouldn't want to move out of this city. It has grown on me in ways I hadn't anticipated.
So I don't know what I will be writing in the near future. But I am not gone. Consider this my official re-entry into the blogosphere.