Months, Hours, Years

It’s only September, but I’m already deep into my second year as an assistant professor, and I’m feeling a bit at sea. My first year, I was protected; given the space to adapt to my institution and its habits and quirks, its possibilities and limits. Here, now, since mid-August, I’ve been plunged into committee and mentoring and extracurricular and planning work that sucks time away from my scholarship in far more concrete and visible and obligatory ways than the unfamiliarity of my first year did. Certainly, September is a particularly bad month, what with various mandatory government three-hour training session foolishnesses upon which I won’t elaborate, save to say that the alcohol and drug abuse prevention briefing began with a lecture on the dangers of absinthe, and went downhill from there. Would that I had the leisure for such dangers: I’m finding that I feel best when my weeks at the office run from about 7:15 to 5:30, and we’ll see how much that schedule lets me get done.

It looks to be a busy year, and while the book is gestating, I don’t think I’m going to be able to get an actual good solid start on it — for various professional reasons — until spring 2009.

So of my good rhet/comp readers, I’ll ask: is that too late, for somebody hired as an assistant prof in 2006?

Months, Hours, Years

5 thoughts on “Months, Hours, Years

  • September 6, 2007 at 9:12 am

    Absinthe? You’re kidding. Can one even get absinthe on this side of the Atlantic?

    I can’t really comment on the timing of your book project, but I wish you the best for it!

  • September 6, 2007 at 9:35 am

    Depends on how fast a press picks it up … people usually describe the process as glacial, but I’ve heard it can also be surprisingly fast with the right project. Also depends on whether your institution asks for “published,” or “contracted.” Also whether you’re planning to move before tenure. You probably know all that stuff.

  • September 6, 2007 at 8:50 pm

    Wow! I bet the topic following Absinthe was the dangers of spending one’s days in opium dens. 🙂 Must have been an amusing event to say the least.

  • September 7, 2007 at 7:11 am

    Absinthe? Absinthe? Absinthe? I’ll hie to my fainting couch and think about today’s young military being wooed by absinthe. Oh, my.

  • September 7, 2007 at 8:07 am

    I have a sense that it depends on the timeliness of your topic and what your department requires. One of my advisors had a book out from Yale by her third year and wrote/co-authored/edited another one every summer after that until she reached full prof. The other advisor didn’t have the book out until the winter of his sixth year, but still tenured on the strength of the contract and a slew of articles. If you’re getting the articles out and keeping your name out there through conference participation and/or national service, it’ll seems to help balance out a late book.

    But what do I know at my stage, really? I’m the one who’s being told that with this Wikipedia diss topic, I’d better have a book contract in hand before graduation.

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