Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Too Much!

I feel slightly bad. I have not being paying attention to this blog of late. I have no real excuse, other than the rather generic 'life is busy'. So, let me make a partial amends with an update.

I like to keep projects, especially research projects under control. This academic year, at least thus far, I have not been doing a great job of this. Suddenly a whole bunch of projects are coming due, all at the same time. First, there is the paper I agreed to referee for a journal last week. Then it seemed feasible, now, it is looking more like a bit of a panic. The paper is very technical and 75 pages long. In order to do the paper justice, it will take a big bunch of time on the details. However, just yesterday, I discovered that a paper I submitted quite a while ago has been accepted for publication. I am very excited about this one. This is the result of a research goal I set nearly a decade ago. The talk version of the paper has now been through seven major revisions. The final result is nothing like I had initially imagined. However, it is a solid and significant set of research results. I am very happy that it has been accepted, in a good place, with only minor revisions.

The minor revisions though are mostly bibliographic. Given our somewhat sad library, getting access to the relevant literature could be a challenge. I only have four weeks to get it all done. As they say in comic books, 'Yikes!'.

I also have a big conference talk to get together, for the middle of next month. Most of the basic research is complete, but there are details that are proving problematic. I wanted to cite a rather obscure work. It now seems that just to borrow the book though ILL will cost $40. I have not come across this before. It seems insane to me. However, I need to get the talk done and it also has to be good. The place where it has been accepted will have a large number of people there who are friends. A half-arsed job will thus not be acceptable. I need to get working on this too.

These are not the only professional obligations. Some time ago, I signed a contract with a major publisher in my area, which is due by the end of the year. I need to finish writing this stuff also. Suddenly, it seems that time is getting short and the academic obligations are mounting.

To add to the time crunch, my chair is out of control. S/he makes arbitrary and stupid choices and needs to be handled. While s/he is favoring their catamite (our unqualified new hire -- no publications, but a buddy of the Chair, need I say more), they are doing very bad things to our program. As the only senior faculty member who is still engaged in this kind of situation (there is another senior person, but they have been totally out of it, for the last several years), I believe that it is my responsibility to try and get things back on track. However, this too is time consuming.

This then is (at least part of) the life of The Combat Philosopher, currently. These are also the reasons why posts have been few and far between of late. Sorry. I hope that I will be able to get back ahead of the curve. In the meantime, please forgive the indolence. Oh yes, if anyone has any good ideas on how to best manage such multiple time crunches, then suggestions would be very welcome. I am actually drowning a little bit, currently, with quite a heavy teaching load in addition to all this. Oh well, time to get back to work...

The CP


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