Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Can't get me down

I'm feeling pretty good today. I decided to audit a graduate course in my host department. As part of my visiting scholar status, I am welcome to sit in on any class in the department, but this is the first time I'm actually doing it. Monday was the first day of Spring quarter here. It's actually a cross-listed course, so I'll be sitting in on the undergrad lecture twice a week, and meeting in a smaller section with four graduate students once per week. Somehow, sitting in on the class makes me feel more a part of the academic community than I have felt otherwise. Partly it's knowing that I have a great deal to contribute to the discussion. I'm viewing it as a bit of apprentice work, in case I wind up with my ultimate dream of a cross-appointment in [Field1] & [Field2].

The prof (who happens to be chair of my host department) asked us to bring along some suggested readings. I brought a small briefcase full of articles, and tossed four her way. Some I've had in readers for classes I've taught; others are simply on my reading list, but relevant to the subject. At the end of section, she said she'd need to talk to me about another aspect of our discussion today, since it's clear I've done more extensive reading on it than her. Also, she had made the comment that she was pleased how the graduate section turned out (I'm the only post-doc sitting in) because we're all [SecondFielders], which brought a smile to my face. I said it was good to be welcomed in the club.

So, nothing is going to get me down right now. Not the fact that power was out on campus for the undergrad lecture and the grad sectional, and for a few hours after. Not that I stopped by the office of one of my dissertation committee members, to follow up on a request for a letter of recommendation, to which he kindly suggested I have his file letter sent to Tough Commute U., in lieu of him writing a new one. Not the fact that my belt just broke (and since attending military academy 25 years ago I've felt naked without a belt). Nope, none of those things are going to get me down.

I've got another hour or so of working, then it's home for a long weekend of playing dad. The au pair is going out of town this weekend, leaving tomorrow early. I'm going to enjoy just being dad for a couple days, not worrying about anything else. And, I've decided that I'm going to try a modified schedule, working longer days M-Th, and taking the boys all day on Fridays. Just in case I do wind up with a commuting gig for next fall, I might as well get used to it now.

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