A new semester

So far at least, I think I’m staying true to the spirit of my New Year’s resolutions post, which is to say that I’ve stayed pretty relaxed about what I’m reading and how much and not worrying about whether I’m fulfilling challenges or finishing as many books as I did last year.

I may be taking this relaxed attitude even further in the coming months as I’ve got a busy semester ahead of me and may not have time to do as much reading as I’ve done in the past. The truth is, in pre-blogging days I probably read a lot less than I have been in the last couple years; I probably lingered over books longer and read fewer of them at once. I didn’t keep records then, so I don’t know for sure, but that’s what memory tells me.

The mood I’ve been in lately has me returning to this older, slower mode. This is not to say that blogs have been a bad influence (quite the opposite in fact!) or that I haven’t enjoyed all the reading I’ve done in the last couple years. But I’m looking ahead to the semester right now (which begins on Monday), thinking about the new class I’m teaching and all the work that will involve, about the class I’m sitting in on and all the time that will take, and also about all the exercising I want to do this spring and how I don’t want to quit going to yoga class when things get busy like I usually do, and I wonder how much time I’ll have to read.

I do hate being busy. And you should know that my definition of busy is probably pretty tame compared to most people’s. I like having lots and lots of time to myself that I can fill in any way I want to. I’m not someone who thrives on stress and tension — these things wear me down and make me unhappy.

Anyway, my point is that in order to stay calm and sane, I will need to have very low expectations for myself when it comes to reading and to blogging. If I’m busy I’ll have less time to post, but also less material to post on, as I’ll be reading less.

We’ll see how that goes; I’ve made claims about posting less in the past but have found the number of posts each week creeping up. But I may really need to back off a bit this time.

By the way, the new class I’ll be teaching is a British Literature survey from the Romantics up to the 20C. It should be fun. And I’m sitting in on a class that’s sort of a survey of various art forms — visual art, film, dance, literature, and music — in order to get ready to teach it next year. I’m excited about teaching this class, although not so excited about the time it will take to sit in on someone else’s version of it and the fact that my school is requiring that I do the observation before I teach the class itself (I’ve never had such intense training like this before, not anything like it; I always just figure out what to do on my own). On the other hand, I haven’t sat in on an entire class in quite a while, and it will be interesting to see how another teacher handles things. It may make me want to become a student again.


Filed under Books, Life, Reading, Teaching

8 responses to “A new semester

  1. Both the class you’re teaching and the class you are sitting in on and will be teaching eventually sound wonderful. I am completely in sympathy with you on the hating to be busy thing. But if you ever feel like posting about what you are teaching in class or observing in the other class, I’d be happy to hear about it 🙂


  2. The British literature class sounds wonderful – I wish I could attend it! It’s my weakest area of reading, would you believe. I know exactly how frantic a teaching term becomes and I hate it too. We’ll all be here, delighted to see you, whenever you can post.


  3. I’d love to hear what texts you are including in the British literature course- it sounds interesting.

    Look forward to reading your posts whenever you get a chance. I can appreciate the need to balance blogging with everything else in life. It’s something I battle with too, especially in term time.


  4. The class you are sitting in sounds really neat and I hope you’ll share some of what you’ll be teaching. Sounds great to me already 🙂
    I have been feeling a bit boxed in by all the books I have to read for challenges and such that I needed to take a break and pull something else. I’m having a great time so far this weekend reading at whim!


  5. I think blogging has increased my reading as well–mostly from joining in on group reads and just getting good book suggestions. But these things always go in phases. It sounds as though you are going to have lots of other things to keep you busy for the semester. I hope you might occasionally post on the class you are teaching and sitting in on–they both sound really interesting! Good luck with the semester–and I know I am always happy to read about whatever you happen to write about (even if it will not be as often as before!).


  6. Stefanie — thank you, and I might just post on the classes now and then — surely interesting things will come up to write about!

    Thank you Litlove. The busyness is the one thing I don’t like about my job — well, that and the meetings. Oh, and the crazy colleagues … 🙂

    Barbara — well, I see people are interested! I’ll post about the class I’m sure. We’re doing a lot of the usual suspects — Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Edgeworth (maybe not such a usual suspect), Percy and Mary Shelley, and Keats to begin with, and then on into the Victorians and the Moderns.

    Jess — thank you, and I’ll be sure to post some details as I go along. I had fun reading about Blake and his Songs of Innocence and Experience this afternoon. And we’ll see how the balancing act goes …

    Iliana — yes, reading at whim is wonderful, and I need more of it! The class I’m observing is interesting because it’s interdisciplinary — we’ll be talking about a lot of different kinds of art.

    Danielle — Thank you! I think you’re right about phases — I’m in a quieter one right now, but I’m sure that will change at some point in the future!


  7. Gee, you mean I won’t be adding 70 books to my TBR list this year? :-)! Good for you for realizing your limits and what’s important to you, and I’ll be happy no matter how infrequently you post just to get a taste of you every so often.


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