pennswoods: (221B Baker Street)
[personal profile] pennswoods
One of the less than awesome things about moving to Sweden is the fact that I have so many more students, so much more grading, so much more teaching and so much less time to read and think and research than I did when I was in Texas. This also means most of what I am reading is for the benefit of others (textbooks for lesson planning, emails, curriculum documents, student papers and exams) and not for the benefit of my own mind or personal development. I feel a part of myself withering away and feel a whole host of other negative feelings that undermine my self-confidence.

We have exactly 5 weeks of official summer vacation when there are no resit exams, bizarre time-wasting projects for faculty, and students sending demanding emails, and I am trying to do as much as possible in these 5 weeks. This includes reading and reading and reading. And it feels so good. It's like my brain is coming back online.

I have finished four books so far, some for fun (His Last Bow) and some for research/writing purposes (Convergence Culture; The Language of Social Media). I set aside time to read and take notes on 4 different texts at a time, so I don't get bored. Today's set of readings also includes 10 pages from Richard III in preparation for my trip to London to see Martin Freeman and his amazing beard on stage. I've also got a list of tasks both work (green) and fun (pink) that I am checking off for all of the things I read and do. And absolutely none of this has to do with grading or teaching.

It feels so good to be using my brain again and making connections. We'll see how much I get through, but hopefully it will be enough to rebuild my confidence and to energize me for all the new teaching I'll be facing in the fall.

Date: 2014-07-07 01:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Quailing inwardly at your beautiful, organized post-its and your clean, sun-lit Scandinavian apartment. I don't even know how you can be friends with me! Okay, sorry, self-disgust moment aside...

You do so much. You read so much and you process so many different kinds of information. I'm really impressed.

Date: 2014-07-07 01:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Sometimes too much tidiness means nothing creative is going on. As soon as I actually start writing something, it's going to be a huge mess.

I wish this were normal, but it's holiday reading and so much easier to do.

Date: 2014-07-07 01:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*is intrigued by that Power of Habit book*

Is it any good?

Date: 2014-07-07 01:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I enjoyed it, particularly the earlier chapters. I think it has a lot of examples and stories that are meant to hammer home a particular pattern seen in habit formation and how small changes can lead to giant changes. I found that encouraging. The hard part is stopping to pay attention to your habits and what might be setting them off.

Date: 2014-07-07 02:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Cool. Thanks. I might check it out. I love learning about new ways to form good habits and get rid of old ones!

Date: 2014-07-07 02:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
5 weeks of vacation! Yep, you are in Sweden.

Date: 2014-07-07 02:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Indeed I am. But I really preferred the 14 weeks of unpaid vacation I had while in Texas. Having three months off to do research and travel and to catch up on life is such a gift. It's like being able to retire every year.

Date: 2014-07-07 02:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh I wish. I just had 5. I wishI could have unpaid vacation, but that's called being jobless. Once you get your classes set, it will get easier.

Date: 2014-07-07 02:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
~This includes reading and reading and reading. And it feels so good. It's like my brain is coming back online~

Woo hoo!

I love seeing photos of your books and beautifully organized work area :-)

Date: 2014-07-07 07:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I love how much you've organized your free time! I always forget to do that and then I emerge feeling like I didn't do enough to properly take advantage of it.

We should chat about the language of social media! <3 (but, ewww, possibly too much like work...)

Date: 2014-07-09 02:10 pm (UTC)
ext_112554: Picture of a death's-head hawkmoth (Book)
From: [identity profile]
I envy all of you who get to see that performance of Richard III. Might catch the live streaming in our cinema, though, since I can't be there myself. *sniffs*

Loving how organised your work station looks. And so pretty! Those notes!


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