Monday, December 01, 2008

Monday notes

- Have a surgery date; January 8.
- Will not be teaching next term! With at minimum 4 weeks off in a 12-week term, seems the powers that be have decided it's too much to try to work around. Wow. I guess this is the benefit of an institution that takes care of you, really takes care...(Lil'rumpus and others...I don't know why 4-6 weeks, but the doctor is really insistent on that - though probably 4 for me due to youth, strength, vigor or whatever. It's a full (not mini) laparotomy, not laparoscopic. I suppose the other thing is that in case there were dire findings once opened up, I'd need to have other procedures afterward and convalescence would be extended.)
- This means that lots of writing must get done in the new year so I'm not wracked by guilt. I shall be very productive! Oh my goodness.
- What else can I volunteer to do so that people at work don't perceive me as a slacker?
- Will proceed to book Paris research trip for late April/May (4 weeks) without worries about insurance. (Thank you for the tip, though, JoVE, about provincial insurance. I'm not in the province you were mentioning, but imagine it's the same where I am - good to know for future.)
- Oh my god, I have nine months off of teaching???!
- Diamond is newly in love with me, it seems. Like, full-on love.
- She's also in love with her new gopher, in an I-shall-maul-you kind of way.
- I have new friends - and they live right across the street. And are a couple with whom it feels just fine to hang out as a single - doesn't feel like being a third wheel. Last night, spent eight hours chatting. Very stimulating. They're a change from most of my friends here, who are overwhelmingly not up for doing much, so beaten down are they by their jobs. I always feel like a freak for being up for doing nice to find others who share in my desire to lift the head from the work.
- Am going for a mini-break in Nearest Metropolis later this week. With my friend S. We are opting for the long bus ride instead of short flight because it will give us an opportunity to get some of the mounds of grading done - and then we can fully relax and enjoy the Metropolitan time. We are going to use the certificate for a deluxe hotel room that I was given when I had this awful hotel experience in NM back in the spring. But I am also considering this a little vacation, and am going to treat myself to non-frugal experiences.
- Am writing - trying to turn latest conference paper into article. I feel an intuitive sense that this is going to work out nicely.
- Am not, though, looking forward to grading 115 take-home exams beginning tomorrow. (I have let my TA off the hook for these, as she is writing three graduate seminar papers right now, and is the mother of a one-year old.)
- But, strangely (though I'm unhappy about the thought of having my abdomen cut open), I'm happy to have the surgery lined up...


Belle said...

Well, I for one am happy you got it scheduled and have the time off. That's great. Don't, however, assume that all will be well soon. The follow-ups get first priority, so take your time to heal properly. Don't over-schedule your time!

Lordy, I'm a bossy old lady. Sorry 'bout that.

Brigindo said...

Sounds like things are looking up for you for once. Although it is awfully strange that a surgery date can be a good thing. Now 9 months off from teaching, that's an excellent thing. And please don't feel the need to volunteer for anything else. Let your research and all tons of admin work you've been doing show you're far from slacker material.

Anonymous said...

Although not obvious from my blog, I know the academic life (though no longer directly in it). For some reason you can do more grading per hour in transit than you can at home. Used to grade on the train a lot. I highly recommend it.

Also, stop worrying about your colleagues thinking you are a slacker. They know you are having surgery, I presume. Just accept that you are an employee that is entitled to sick leave. Someone else decided that meant no teaching. So after the 4-6 weeks, do lots of writing, send off those articles, whatever whatever research related. They would all LOVE to have that kind of time for research and what will piss them right off is if you squander it.

BUT do look after yourself. And prepare for that Paris trip. And think good thoughts about the SSHRC grant (which you will find out about at the end of March, though you won't get any comments or anything until late April at the earliest). Good luck.

Susan said...

I'm so glad the surgery is scheduled, and that you have the term off teaching. Phew! However, what everyone else said. Recovery from surgery -- as I have watched a number of different people -- is much more difficult than you might expect. It will take time to get your concentration back; one colleague told me that if you have general anaesthesia you should count on it affecting you for up to 6 months -- mostly in being a little more easily tired.

But woo hoo on the Paris trip to look forward to!

Maggie said...

Yes to what they all said. And Hilaire, I imagine you do SO MUCH so much of the time, any thought of you being a "slacker" is absurd. Rest. Heal. Repeat.

heu mihi said...

Well, other than the surgery itself, it sounds like there's some goodness coming through for you. I'm so glad about the Paris trip, the new friends, and how supportive your (otherwise highly problematic) institution is being. Oh, and the upcoming trip! Enjoy it and try to have a bit of fun, if at all possible.

medieval woman said...

I, too, am so glad the sugery is set - it's a very proactive thing and I can understand why you feel better about it! I'm also so happy that you'll take next semester off - you should just watch TV all the time and chill - you've done SO MUCH for that school over the past year and a half!


Marcelle Proust said...

If you really feel you need to do something else, an independent study with a carefully selected student on a topic very closely related to your research is a good way to help research happen. It definitely needs to be the right student, though.

Hilaire said...

Thanks all.

JoVE - Yes, I commuted on the bus regularly in my previous job and found it the best way to get grading done, absolutely. That's why I'm relishing this part of the trip to NM. Applied for a SSHRC last year (blogged about the dismaying - and, I know, common - experience of having the research not at all understood by the reviewers, which I saw when I received their assessments in later April). Based on my experience last time, I don't hold out hope for success this time - which is why I critically needed this internal grant in order to follow up on and finish the research in Paris I started last spring. It was a relief to receive it.