This week marked the official start to my third spring term. My first year on the tenure track I “eased” into the school year, meaning that during my first quarter I served as an advisor but was not in the classroom. My second quarter I added one class, and my third quarter I added another class so that I was teaching two courses and had a full advising load. This strategy worked well, particularly because when fall term started, Ellie was four months old. It gave me a little bit a of chance to catch my breath before jumping into classes. My second year I started off in the fall with a full advising load and teaching one course. During winter I also taught one course (plus advising) and during spring I taught two courses (plus advising). Still a gradual build up but I also realized I really like to start off the school year being able to dedicate the majority of my time to research (meaning no teaching). My brain is fresh from the summer “break” and I have lots of energy. I’ve also likely been working on research projects over the summer, so I can continue the momentum into fall term, rather than getting stressed that I’m not getting anything done.
This year, I was able to plan so that I didn’t have to teach during fall term (like my first year), with two courses during winter and spring, plus an advising load. Although two courses during both winter and spring was a bit much (in terms of also trying to get research accomplished), I did really appreciate having fall term off from teaching. All that to say… for each year that I’ve been at my current university, I’ve taught two courses and served as an advisor during spring term. My expectations for what’s feasible (as far as research productivity) are pretty low and going into this spring term is no different. This first week I was constantly reminding myself that it’s okay to take time to dedicate to course prep, teaching, and student support (after all, this is a big part of my job!).
In other news. Ellie switched to a toddler bed (see above pic)! We brought it up a few weeks back when she was trying to climb into her crib and was upset that she couldn’t do it by herself. We casually mentioned that the sides of the crib could be removed so she could get in and out more easily but she wasn’t interested. Last weekend, she asked if we could take them off… guess she needed some time to contemplate the pros and cons. So… it’s been about a week and for the most part, this transition has been pretty smooth. The first morning I don’t think she realized she could get out of bed herself so she called for us when she woke up. Then, the next morning she appeared in our bedroom, saying “hi!” We didn’t hear her get out of bed which made us realize that we should probably put a baby gate up so she couldn’t wander the house! We did have one hiccup (so far). We had some friends over and she stayed up way past her bedtime (11:30pm… we went to bed way late too ~1:00am). She got up at 3:30am came into our room and wanted to get into bed with us. She “slept” in between Mike and I, which meant she giggled, dozed off, thrashed around, and giggled some more (not much sleep for the adults). She requested to go back into her own bed at 6:30am… but that didn’t last long. One rough night, but I think that probably had more to do with going to bed late than the new setup. Other than that it’s been great. Last night she was in bed around 9:00pm and got up around 8:30am. When she got up she played in her room by herself for a little bit before wandering into our bedroom (which was lovely for us!).
Systematic review/interview project: My goal for the week was to check in with my collaborator. Goal met? Yes!
Course prep (condensed stats course): My goal for the week was to finalize everything for our first class meeting (printing, assignments, grade book setup, agenda, slides, etc.) Goal met? Yes.
Course prep (online human dev course): My goal for the week was to get week two ready to go (since it opens at the end of week 1), this involves updating videos, finalizing content, etc. Goal met? Yup.
service + admin
Planning: My goal for the week was to have my weekly list ready to go on Friday with Monday’s tasks picked out. Goal met? Nope. On weeks where I’m in the classroom all day I need to make sure I do this on Thursday instead of Friday.
Conference planning: My goal for the week was to figure out logistics (i.e., getting from airport to hotel, pick out conference sessions I want to go to, find reasonably priced food in the area, etc.). Goal met? I figured out transportation logistics and glanced at conference sessions but didn’t come up with a plan.
meetings, appointments, + events
✓Retirement meeting (considering opening up a Roth IRA, I wanted to talk to someone about whether or not that makes sense so I set up an appointment through HR)
✓office hours (x2)
✓online office hours
✓dean candidate meeting (x2, virtual)
✓collaborator check in
Workouts: I lifted three times (one more session than last week)!
Toddler on the Tenure Track: Goal: Get 2 posts up on the blog. Goal met? Yup.
Meditation: Goal: 5 minutes every other day Goal met? Yes! I meditated on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday of this week (even more than planned).
Budget: ✓Update budget - spent some time finalizing April’s #s