A new acaemic year

I went straight to college after high school, and straight to graduate school after college.  I got my first tenure track job in 2002, immediately after the 8 years it too me to earn my PhD, and I have been at my “new” job now for almost five years.

As a consequence, an academic year has been the calendar of my life since I was five years old.  When I refer to “years” I often do so intentionally referring to the period between July and June.  I am mentally colonized.

On the plus side–it’s a new year!  The 2010-2011 academic year has begun at the Claremont Colleges.  Classes don’t start until Tuesday, but I just spent two 8am-5pm weekend work days doing first-year advising and student coordinator training.  I am seasoned, to say the least, and feel like I am hitting the ground running for the first time in some years.

I’ve been largely off the blog this summer, as I struggled to get two book projects done (or “done-as-possible”).  One, an edited collection, is done (mostly).  The other, my book manuscript on the history of Latinos in San Francisco, is moving nicely and is on its way to being done this semester.

Normally the idea of having a writing deadline during the semester seems daunting and impossible.  I spent as much of everyday writing this past summer as was possible, cutting out many distractions and making productive use of the ebb and flow of written productivity to use time to think, read, and think some more.  Now, writing will be compressed into the available time I have every afternoon, maybe a three hour period if I am vigilant and protective.

But I’m excited!  We have a new baby coming anytime in the next few weeks, I have a class of eager students ready to learn about Chicano history, I have a host of obligations related to student learning and community engagement (related to my position at our campus “Community Partnership” office), and I’ve got two books to shepherd through to completion, at least if I want to keep my job when I come up for tenure in another year.  And, yet, I am really looking forward to the mayhem ahead.

Ironically, I think I’ll find a free minute or two on the occasional morning to share a little something on the blog, too.  But if one of my three readers out there is wondering where I am and what I’ve been doing, well, it’s just life.

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