Sunday, April 29, 2007

like all the boys i dated . . .

I've come to avoid this blog.

Though, in this case, I don't think I'm breaking up, taking off, separating, or splitting.

I've just been away for a while.

Nothing and too much happening at once. Ever feel that way?

Unlike the boys, this blog doesn't mind my absence. Lucky me. I want to return.

But re-starting is the hardest part . . . .

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

i don't know how it happened

No. That's a lie. I do know, I suppose. It's just my way.

But I can't recall the specifics. Somehow, I've made myself A Person Who Advances Others' Careers rather than A Person Who Advances Her Own.

I've grumbled about it before in these digital pages. I'm an editor, a reviewer, a panelist. I vet, correct, and judge. I play a big part in whether you'll be published or not in one or more journals. More often than not, I work hard to publish you. I'm an allocator of monies, journal pages, and conference hotel spaces. I help you advance or send you back to the drawing board without passing Go.

I'm an assistant professor who is well known in her area. I hold offices. I'll hook you up. You'll make connections through me. My name is known in several countries--more than a couple continents, in fact.

I'm a blast to be around and am missed at conferences I can't attend. I advise Full Professors on how best to present their work. I introduce students to their scholarly idols and forge friendships among folks from across the states.

But I'm the worst self-promoter there is. I'm terrible at focusing on my own research and writing. In fact, I've forgotten what it's like to immerse myself in my own work. "My own work." A phrase that almost seems selfish to me now.

But such a sense is just cowardice, really.

It's easier for me to focus on others than it is to focus on myself.

Though when you think about it, my focus on others has led to my own visibility--and the visibility of my institution.

Unfortunately for me, I don't think my Institution will see things that way.

What am I trying to say here?

I guess my point is--to those of you who are about to rock in Academe--be careful of how you devote yourself. Make sure your devotions align with your Institution's.

I spent the day working on an association newsletter. I have a 9am meeting tomorrow to discuss the fate of international travel grant applicants. After, I'll finish writing an exam, then I'll prep for a guest lecture in a colleague's Thursday night class. Then I'll settle in for a weekend of reviewing manuscripts and coaching a grad student for an upcoming symposium presentation.

I bet my carrel is dusty.