Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Ready, Steady, Go!

Three processes resume today:

1) Writing: The summer course now done, grades submitted, and comments returned, the time has not come to write. After a tiny anxiety attack this morning (so distracted by it was I, that I sideswiped a mailbox after dropping off the kids. The mailbox is fine, but the side mirror on my car less so), I did some warm up writing on my tenure documents, and sat down with the book chapter du jour. Chapter 1.2 (or chapter 3, depending how you count) actually requires less work than I had imagined, mostly in the form of bulking up the theoretical grounding and stakes, and adding a major final section at the end to account for an extremely important new direction in both performance and in scholarship, that will make this section much more than a retread of existing scholarship or a retread of the dissertation chapter. This is significant work, to be sure, but less involved than, say, rebuilding the chapter from the ground up that I thought I'd have to do. Instead of writing a 35-page chapter with a handful of usable paragraphs, I've actually got to write 15 new pages to accompany the 25 I must revise and expand. Very doable. Moreover, I began the process of polishing up some of those older pages, and identifying a handful of sources to supplement the writing. I'll pick those up this afternoon on a trip to the library with Junebug.

2) Tenure: My external evaluators for tenure have been determined and confirmed, which means that today I am sending out the packet of my published work with a cover letter to frame it. Our department does not require the book for tenure, but in creating the narrative of my scholarly project, I have come to realize that the subject matter of the book forms a center to my work around which other material constellates. Since earlier articles published before I arrived do not count for my tenure case (something I understand is somewhat unique to this institution), but came from the dissertation-turned-book-project there appears to be a large absence that would otherwise tie my work together. I have tried to frame the existing publications within a narrative suggests that they cluster around this bigger project descried under future work, but I sure don't want evaluators to say, "well if only he had that book!" This is my only serious worry about the tenure process, and submitting these packets today (the other thing to do on my trip to campus with Junebug) is the great leap that the tenure process will entail for me. Everything else seems by comparison like bureaucracy.

3) Other great leaps into the unknown: Junebug took two very tiny, very tentative steps this weekend. He will walk all over the place either holding onto a single hand or cruising along the furniture, so full-on speed-walking is mere days away. I tremble. The coming weeks will be an adventure indeed.

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