Saturday, August 12, 2006

A regular Saturday?

I'm not driving somewhere nor am I frantically getting ready to leave again. I'm primarily looking forward to my culinary tour to Puglia in a few weeks - the official start to my sabbatical.

I went to the farmer's market this morning but was disappointed we're pretty much at the end of summer and it will probably be a few weeks before the fall crops start. My favorite Missouri farmer wasn't there - which is always disappointing - his produce is always great!

I rode my bike 10 miles out in the country before it became way too hot to do so and walked the dog prior to that. Later today I'm hoping to go see World Trade Center with a friend.

Yesterday we had a conference call about the new edition of a US survey text and it was great to hear such great interchanges between an author team. In the past, I've done the ancillaries and don't come on board near as early in the process but that is all changing and it can only make the entire work better (book and ancillaries). I'm anxious to explore the digital possibilities also and actually spend some time with the publisher. I also discovered the "interim edition" is off the table for now so I can concentrate on some other projects. The summer indeed went too fast but I wasn't nearly as stressed as last summer. The pressure now is seeing a continual stream of grant project RFPs. Just when I think nothing is going to be happening . . .. I remember there was a time early in my university career that I was worried where I would find enough projects to keep me busy. That is no longer a concern.

The sabbatical is also coming at a good time to take a break from teaching. I love teaching undergraduates and traditional graduate students (although we only have a few) but am really liking working directly with the teachers.

We're also getting ready for the TAH Project Directors' meeting next month in Albuquerque. The folks east of the Mississippi go to Cleveland so I am glad we're west this time.

I have, however, taken some travel off the table this upcoming year. I do want to be home some and I've been gone enough again that hotel rooms are just hotel rooms - even if they have an internet connection. Next summer, I don't think I will do any big planning ahead in June and July except for grant trips. That will entail a great deal of time in northeastern Kansas, Kansas City, and, the highlight - Boston!! I hope some of the teachers want to go to "Fresh Catch" in the North End.

I plan to get some work done today as well as some housecleaning. My friend's daughter was busy moving in yesterday to get ready to start school in a week or so and she will watch Shadow for me on Thursday when Julie and I venture north to meet with a grant partner to nail down some logistics.

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