Saturday, April 30, 2011


I am in the happy position of anticipating a no-teaching summer. I may be wrong--my July class may surprising "make" given the vagaries of athletes' need to graduate--but probably I will have the luxury of a summer devoted to research, reading, and writing...

Research: My book on actresses in Paris, 1850-1900. I want to draft a decent book proposal. Sigh. I am looking forward to not only reading material but hard-core research in my campus library (sad little thing!) and through Inter-Library Loan. I have a stack of new books and articles to catch up on or to examine more closely.
Like this:

I am also keeping my hand in 17th-century research by writing a conference paper for November which will become an article (I hope!) about Moliere's dramaturgical trope of the "front door" on his Parisian stages.

Like this:

Reading: Yeah, see the list of 50 books, not at all depleted. I have most if not all of these books in my house or on the Nook. Time to get crackin' on that list!

Writing: The play (of course) which is now in better shape than it was pre-April's script frenzy, the current novel, the book proposal, the Moliere article, the May conference paper...

Yes, it will take a schedule and focused, devoted time daily to achieve these goals. Thank goodness! As a writer and academic, I have to say that the uncluttered summer, when I can devote my time, my creativity, and my intelligence to my own writing rather than mentoring stduents, is a wonderful part of my job and my career. I have the luxury of knowing that from May 15 to August 15, it is all about me.

One of the things my non-academic friends do not get is that even if I am not teaching, my summer is not free. My work week from August 15 to May 15 is filled with class meetings, preparation for class meetings, committee and service work for my department/school/university/profession, mentoring, and "creative/scholarly activity" -- like conferences and publication.

Summer is the time you can devote to your own professional, creative, intellectual growth and advancement. Which in turn feeds your students with your own professionalism, risk, and accomplishments.

I'm also planning on spending the summer revamping my theatre history course for sophomores. Changes in students as a whole have prompted me to rethink how I deliver the material. I'll be working on a new outline and lectures for that class. I'll also be refreshing the seminar I plan to give next spring, which is an upper-level course in perfromance studies. It's been a while since I taught it and I need to research new readings, re-organize the syllabus, and prepare lectures and power point presenations (I have learned that Christman break is not the time to do this!).

And these are only my professional/creative goals!

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