...are weird. Lot of things are happening, some positive, some less so. And there is a bunch of stuff that I just cannot write about, although it would help me as a way of clarifying some situations a little bit. Here is what I can say, even if I am a little vague
- I seem to have made the most obvious mistake a newly tenured professor does: taking on way too much service work. And it is not going to get better. For better or for worse, I seem to be emerging as a major player on campus, and we are in a time of transition. I don't know how I feel about it, or where to find the balance. I loathe professors who think committee work is beyond them. At my institution, it is your opportunity to be engaged, and have a say in important matters. Occasionally, the administrators actually listen to you. Those who shun committee work are the first to complain and criticize, and they don't understand when you tell them that no, you cannot have this program running next semester, because the natural channel for it to get approved is to send it to committee X and B. It actually pays to know how a bureaucracy works, you can get things accomplished. So on one hand, I think there is an opportunity opening for me. On the other, I still need to find a better balance
- I have the feeling that agreeing to serve on a certain committee in exchange for getting out of teaching Spanish composition (I didn't get a course reduction, just a less grading intensive class) was probably not a good idea. Oh well...
-Unrelated to my previous point, I seem to have made an enemy. While I was never BFF with this person, it took me by surprise. Zie has managed to make my life more complicated than it should be. It caused a lot of anxiety a month ago. Then I remembered I had tenure. After a week of repeating that to myself, I got the courage to ignore this person attacks and attempts at micromanaging, and do my own thing. It helps that zie is passive aggressive (so ze won't confront me) and not terribly smart. Zie has turned important people off with hir behavior
- Related to that, what kind of person thinks that saying behind my back that I don't know anything about assessment will discredit me in front of my colleagues? That is just odd. It is not true, but if people want to believe it, I'm fine with it. It actually allows me to avoid something I find no pleasure on.
- As far as classes go, I can't complain. I have a bunch of sweet freshmen in my language class, and students I've had many times in my two lit classes. The only thing I need is getting used to teaching five days a week, and use my time more efficiently
- I like my new Chair a lot, but I seem to be in the minority here. She has a strong and sometimes harsh personality, but I've seen how she single-handily managed to reverse the administration decision on an issue that landed my university on the front pages of the Chronicle and Inside Higher Education last year. I respect that a lot. But I suspect there is sexism in certain colleagues who cannot tolerate a no BS boss. It sucks to be told that I am the new Chair favorite, but I will not join the herd just to be oppositional.