There are a lot of challenges with tenure that I don’t regularly blog about and I worry at times that most of what I do give you is catch up posts and vague check ins. Tenure comes with a lot of balancing acts, a lot of wondering how many hours is really appropriate to be worrying about it and working on it, and, at times, lot of opacity. Self-reflective journaling on a public platform often feels indulgent in the face of other obligations.
However, shedding light on the process and seeing how I personally evolve through it by looking through my own archives is something I do continue to aspire to do. The search committee I’m on for the two science librarian positions closes in a couple of days and I will be interested to see if, when we get thru this process, any of our selected candidates knew about this or had gotten a sense of our tenure process through my writings. I’m arrogant enough to hope so.
Starting in another five or six months I go through my first formal review process. I have to write teaching statements, research statements, fill out myriad forms. I will be assigned someone just to help with my paperwork–aside from my mentor and her responsibility to focusing on helping me with my research stuff. But that’s long term and big picture at the moment.
Tomorrow, we welcome the redoubtable Dorothea Salo to do a workshop on Research Data Management for some of the UIC, the University of Chicago, and Northwestern University liaison librarians. I’m really looking forward to this cross university collaborative learning experience and to seeing our fearless teacher. This has been underway in planning for some time and seeing it come to fruition is exciting.
The following five days involve me, a very large multi-colored package of post it notes, all of my research work, Evernote, whatever project management software the Philosopher has come up with, and a fresh kettle of tea on the hour every hour. In consultation with my supervisor, I found three consecutive days (plus weekend) to take as research days. I’m spending that time getting to the bottom of my current obligations, writing out in clear manageable chunks next steps for each of my research projects, and doing a pretty heavy amount of grunt work on a couple of those projects. I’ve had trouble finding uninterrupted time at work that didn’t get overriden with last minute meetings, students, and an unforgiving inbox count so I’m taking time and hoping to only check email once or twice a day. I might even get some of the blog post drafts finished up and fill your screens with all of the thinks I am thinking.
Thank you for coming along for the ride of Year 1 of this. I am looking forward to a point in a few years we’re talking about “now that I’m tenured….” If there are questions I can answer, tenure topics you’d like me to write about, please send me an email.