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?