Monday, March 24, 2008

One month to go

I realized today that the last day of class is exactly one month away. It's always the busiest time of the semester, and with spring, there is that fever where you'd rather be having fun than in a classroom. I'm sure the students feel the same.

The other thing is that there is only one month left and I have no idea what is in store for me next year. Just like last year, I have not yet been asked back. Last year, it was the last day of class before I was given an offer and by then I was so frustrated I said no. Only during the summer did I change my mind, and part of that was because I was told there was going to be a three-year, non-tenure track position open. I'm not sure what happened to that position, but it looks like the university would rather hire a PhD and put them on the tenure track, although that hiring hasn't happened yet either.

Sometimes I feel so caught up in this that I can't breathe, much less sleep. But I have to work through the fact that in academia, decisions are not about me, whether I'm doing a good job or not. It's not always about the students either. And most importantly, I have little influence and can't control things. To paraphrase Stephen Covey (the 7 Habits guy), I have my circle of influence and my circle of control. As I'm learning, university hiring decisions are beyond both my circle of influence and my circle of control.

It will be interesting to see what this next month brings, and what decisions will be made. I'm sure the end of the semester will fly by sooner than I think. That's actually a bit scary, because I don't feel ready for decisions. But in the meantime, I have a bunch of papers to grade today and errands to run, so I better get back at it. Grading and errands -- those are in my circle of control.

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