Perhaps it is my age. Perhaps it’s my approaching retirement. However, I like to think it is because of my values. I no longer yield to the increasing Carroll peer and institutional pressure (and financial incentives) to be on campus teaching, writing grants, doing research, and mentoring students over the summer. Summer for me is a time to be away from campus and from campus emails— a time for reflection, for recharging, for redirection, for play and for rejuvenation. I never stop learning (amusingly my Mac DayOne App just eerily intruded to ask what I learned today!).
I’ve hardly been academically or intellectually stagnant since I left campus in May. Among the books that I have enjoyed reading this summer are
- Adam Johnson’s The Orphan Master’s Son
- Steven Galloway’s The Cellist of Sarajevo
- Ben Fontain’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
- Khaled Hosseni’s The Kite Runner
- Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life and her Behind the Scenes at the Museum
- Connie Willis’s The Best of Connie Willis: Award-Winning Stories
- Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane and Unnatural Creatures: Stories Selected by Neil Gaiman
- Marisha Pessl’s Night Film (thank you, Susan Gusho, for the treasured autographed copy!)
- Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus
- Robert Galbraith’s (aka J. K. Rowling) The Cuckoo’s Calling
I have written almost every day (blogging, developing international contacts, Twitter, Facebook, book reviews, manuscript reviews) though what I write and where I write seems not to be highly valued by my institution’s reward system. C’est la vie.
I continue to develop expertise to bring into the classroom technology learning tool applications (e.g. Ning, WordPress, Paper.li, Scoopit, and Animoto) based upon the path-breaking contributions of Jane Hart and others I have “met” virtually this past academic year and this summer. I have created a Sandbox for International Educators whom I have come to know and respect and experimented with BlogTalkRadio.