It didn’t seem like I’ve been away so long til I just added up the time. My, how it has flown. I suppose, perhaps, that is natural as we get closer and closer to the END. I am still galloping to complete what I set out to finish for the official sabbatical, including an extra project that I did not anticipate but was something I just could not refuse.
On top of that, the big big deal is that my orientation has shifted tremendously in response to the new status I will have upon the start of the new school year. I will be the interim dean of my School within the University, for a period of two years. This is not something than can be picked up on the start date of the contract, so a certain amount of my time has been chewed up in discussions about the post, working out its details, reading a ton, and attending a week-long conference on leadership (in Washington state, see picture. I don’t spend a lot of time around big trees. It was neat.).
I’m still processing the change. I bet there are steps to this shift from faculty to admin, like the stages of grief. But it’s not all loss (although there is a lot I’ve given up, starting with plenty of sabbatical time that was supposed to be about writing). I am truly energized and eager to get into this new role, recognizing it comes with plenty of challenges I can foresee, and lots that remain to be discovered. Would like to be able to write coherently about it but really am getting more and more frantic about finishing the sabbatical by crossing off the most important things–things that will be completely tossed to the side once I get into the new job, unfortunately. Not what I imagined when I started this journey, but that’s OK. There are worse things in the world than having an opportunity to stretch one’s wings.