Work Plans for the Summer

My EN 101 class was cancelled this summer, which leaves me more time for other work. I have some ambitious plans to get lots of work done toward tenure.

  • 3000 word book chapter to submit by October.
  • Another 3000 word book chapter on a similar topic to submit by December.
  • 2500 word conference paper for ASA in November.

These are the most pressing projects because they actually have time deadlines associated with them in terms of writing and possible revisions. So, I’m going to start working really hard on them.

I also have some other projects in the works:

  • Chapter four of my dissertation…I think I’m finally ready to rework it. I want to split the chapter and add a few things to it. I’m thinking The Adventures of Don Chipote definitely fits with the first part of the chapter, while something else might go in the last; or there’s a possibility to just flesh out more of the last two novels based on teaching Pocho this year. Still thinking about it.
  • I started a great piece on Susan Shelby Magoffin, but I hit a wall and I haven’t finished it. What I think is that this piece might serve as the basis for my next big work, so I might keep it simmering but try to yolk it with the piece I write for the conference in November and keep it all going through those avenues.
  • I really want to revise my Caballero work with what I have from the archive. It’s pretty messy though, and I wanted to work on it last summer, but didn’t get to it, so we’ll see.
  • Finally, I have some more stuff to say about Katherine Anne Porter and the archival stuff I dug up at University of Maryland. It’s in really not great shape though, so it too may end up with bullet point two on this list.
  • And haha, that wasn’t finally…this is finally. I have some pedagogical work I want to do in thinking about teaching American literature and the ways that I teach it and certain authors we teach, but this may be a project for when I have a little more maturity.

Teaching plans in terms of work:

  • Humanities Summer Institute: This is really cool. I’m working with two other professors and five students on a reading seminar on iHuman. It’s so fun. We are reading Medea for tomorrow.
  • I’m the summer adviser, so I get to help all the new students plan their schedules. I’m directing all the cool ones into my classes. Just kidding.
  • A few colleagues and I are working on Service Learning Initiatives in the English department and across the curriculum. We’re looking at ways (and actually implementing ways) of integrating service learning possibilities at all levels in our curriculum.

Things I want to talk to my chair about for the future:

  • Getting the Vagina Monologues to campus–by this I mean staging our own performance in conjunction with my Gender Studies class.
  • Working on an NEH grant in partnership with UNM.
  • Getting a service learning alternative spring break trip in conjunction with one of my classes.

Plans with the boys:

  • Beach. They love it, and now that I have an awesome sun hat, I will enjoy it too.
  • More beach. This time in New Jersey.
  • Swimming lessons for Seamus.
  • Spanish Camp for Seamus.
  • Lots of days at Gravelly Point, the Zoo, or the Mall.
  • Cooking fun foods.
  • Playing games–Seamus is finally ready for things like Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders!

Yay Summer!



  1. Very, very ambitious….oh, to be young again (sigh!). But, I need to remind you that life is long and even if you do not get everything done all at once, you do get a chance to do it later — usually.

    However, I will admit that I did put off some things too long myself:

    1. in my mid 20’s I put away my needlework hobby because I had a new cat who kept tangling the yarn while sitting on my lap. My thought was “I’ll do this later when I get old and have more time and fewer pets”. I did not realize how bad 60 year old eyes are or how clumbsy 60 year old fingers get. And, well, I never had more time or fewer pets.

    2. I always intended to take a llama trek — waited too long as now have a bad knee that wouldn’t let me wander for miles in the wilderness no matter how many llama were doing the packing for me or how many gourmet meals the guides were cooking for me. So occasionally I just go to a zoo or a safari park or petting zoo and look at and pet the llamas. And then I eat a corndog. Sometimes a close approximation is enough.

    A happier thought — sometimes life surprises you with opportunities that a younger you could never have dreamed of:

    1. winning a “free” karate lesson at the county fair that led to getting a black belt just before my 50th birthday. Pretty amazing for a girl who avoid anything remotely “sporty” right up until walking into the dojo for that free lesson.

    2. using a computer to try online dating and finding late in life, second chance love. In 1966 when I graduated high school without ever even having a real date this would have been science fiction — not to mention seeming like mind-blowing good luck, unbelievable to a girl who felt unattractive and gawky.

    And a piece of advice:

    If you think about doing something, but it seems impossible (example: playing the piano) go ahead and give it a shot. The question to ask yourself is: “will the next 10 years be better with this in it or not?” I say 10 years because research suggests someone has to have 10 years in a domain to really approach expert/ working level understanding of a field. But, remember that you do not have to commit 10 years to it — you have permission to try something and abandon it, or to keep it at a low level activity that just brings you joy when you dabble in it. Also remember that no matter what that activity it is, you probably have to suffer through a lot of not being very good at it until one day you notice “Hey, I don’t suck quite as bad at this as I did when I started!”

  2. “School’s out for Summer”, you should enjoy the time for yourself and with Seamus,Gilbert and P.
    Forget about Spanish camp for Seamus, Save Money & send him to Boston! Thanks for posting the pix.

    Love, Tia Judy

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: