Thursday, June 20, 2013

A rejoinder

I'd like to say 'it's that time of the semester' but normally this time of the semester is calm. If you teach subjects with exams, it's the calm before the storm of marking, but if not, it's calm. The students have had their final essays returned and can calculate their overall marks; they've sent their happy or pleading emails and you've replied to them. If you have a small class in first semester, you've already done the data entry, double checked the figures, and sent off the examiner's reports justifying your unusual distribution of grades. If you work in the office, the corridors are usually deserted of students, and your colleagues stand in doorways and talk. They debate and argue and talk to one another.

Now is actually the time when you get your work done, when you can write the papers and the presentations and the lectures that have sat on the backburner while you've been answering emails and handing students tissues because they just don't think they know how to do this. It's time to think of the big ideas, the new ideas, to trawl through databases and journal issues to see if someone else has beaten you there, to go out and collect the raw data, to find a new direction for your research.

...Or you've signed up to present two papers at a conference and the deadline for one of them got moved a week closer so the moderator can review your discussions.

...And you put in an application for research funds months ago and now the assessors' reports are back in your hands and what the hell is that guy talking about? And they give you two weeks and 5000 characters to respond and convince the college of experts or the committee of whomevers that either the assessors were right or they were wrong and to just give you the damn money already. Two weeks and 5000 characters to write your rejoinder.

I am currently rejoining.

I had to look up what the verb actually was.

This is what I'm doing instead of blogging.

Except for now, that is.

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