Saturday, May 19, 2007

Saturday and Sabbatical

My sabbatical is almost officially over given that summers are a separate entity. I can't believe how fast it has gone but I feel like I have crammed every possibility opportunity into the 9 months. Italy, a cruise, Michigan, Boston . . ... I still chuckle at the people who ask me how I like my time off. :-) As usual with me, I was busier during my time off than when I am on 'regular' duty.

There are some new 'features' at my campus when I return. One that will be a visibly important benefit is that we have an actual grants officer now who also experience in the real world of grants. That will allow me to focus on the contents and narrative parts I do best and someone else can worry about some of the mechanics, meeting institutional and government guidelines, etc., because that it officially their job. My hope is also that this person will help others on campus not as familiar with grants understand what a truly group collaborative effort they are in order to be successfully written and implemented.

I've been able to delve into some technology realms - including the unexpected all-consuming world of Second Life - as part of sabbatical. The time at Matrix at Michigan State was invaluable - seeing the people labor and expertise it takes to get everything going and to keep it going - Energizer Bunnies all . . .

I wish I would have had more downtime but I just need to do a better job of taking time out occasionally from 80-hour to 100-hour self-imposed workweeks so that I have a fun break before hitting a wall that totally shuts me down and makes me feel guilty - both for not working and for not enjoying the time off.

The only goal I haven't achieved - or at least I'm not where I want to be - is in writing about what I am doing and getting my work out there where it needs to be seen instead of being frustrated by others write what I should have been writing about much earlier. I just need to set aside time each day and also concentrate more analytically on what it takes to write instead of being frustrated by a blank screen first thing in the morning. I do need to take more time to read (not only websites but TRADITIONAL BOOKS) in order to write more consistently.

I'm starting to get closer to that goal with the reading I started this afternoon - Chris Anderson's The Long Tail. It started as an article in Wired and the book was written via a website with all the inherent feedback that provides. Just from reading the introductory material, I'm impressed with the variety of experts he was able to get assistance from while working on this project. This is the kind of thinking I want my brain to do. And, it's quite unusual that, as an author and idea mean, he is the first one to point out all the people whose thinking helped get him there.

So, now to go to

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