Sunday, July 31, 2005

Can I, Dare I, Go on a Real Vacation?

Looking at the goals I gave myself this summer is horribly embarrassing. I can give myself no check marks. I have accomplished none of my major goals satisfactorily. The main ones I wound up working on were

1.1.1 Write the paper: “Teaching Abortion Ethics to the Conservative Christian Student”


1.4. Prepare for next years teaching.

I accomplished some of the sub-jobs for these, but I don't have a completed essay for 1.1.1, and I've only finished 1.4 to the extent that if classes started tomorrow, I could hand out syllabi and bluff my way through the first part of the term until I'm up to speed.

And on Tuesday, I'm supposed to go to the beach. For, like, two weeks. With stops at my parents house so they can meet their new grandson. Plus we're meeting Pippy. (Does it count as a blogger meet-up if you used to share an apartment?)

I could bring work with me. I know as well as anyone how hard it is to get stuff done at the beach. But bringing work related reading would at least help. But I don't really want to. I want to leave all academic stuff behind. Molly gave me two Coetzee books last Christmas that I haven't touched. I want to read them. I want to bring the mohawk back and paint my toenails.

Should I? Dare I?

More self-centered deliberations on how to improve my work habits under the fold.

So this is how the sub-project scorecard looks

1.1.1 “Teaching Abortion Ethics to the Conservative Christian Student” Write up what you have Read up on history of abortion Read Hacking on role of history in understanding concepts Review papers from old medical ethics classes. about half done. I still need to collect more examples of the responsibility argument.

The failure to produce a complete paper this summer is most embarrassing. I need to rethink my writing process because it is clear to me that I have trouble finishing writing projects. Notice how long it is taking me to answer the book meme. Molly said I am "Zenoing" my way to the end of it, and thus will never get there. This problem finishing is also part of the reason why the things I have published tend to be too long. (The KEIJ paper, before editing by the journal was over 10,000 words.)

Perhaps I should read that *Getting things done* book the internets are talking about.

1.4. Prepare for next years teaching.

1.4.1 design env ethics e/w class. 3/4ths done
1.4.2 Sequence of writing exercises, including in class stuff and synching up with first year program. the sequence was done, but not the connection to the FYP
1.4.3. Organize the power points, sequence them on Angel half done
1.4.4. Course web pages/angel pages.half done
1.4.5 Arsenal of in class exercises.

Basically jobs 1.4.2, 1.4.3 and 1.4.5 blurred together into a new job: "craft the schedule of in class activities as carefully as you craft the schedule of readings, tests, and papers." Philosophically, I'm still convinced this is the right thing to do. In fact, I'm hoping that this proposition is also true: "If you plan the course carefully enough, no one will notice how much your ass is dragging during the semester." Nevertheless, I've found that the combined goal of 1.4.2,3 & 5 is a pain in the neck. 1.4.1 was also a time suck. I can potentially read for ever to prepare for that class.

Of course, attempts to get anything on these lists done was eclipsed by the birth of my second child.

So can I go on a real vacation?

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