My sabbatical/leave is now officially over. The winter quarter began last week, but today was the first day that I actually had to admit that I’m not on leave any more. It’s sooooo depressing! Getting paid to read, think, and write without actually having to interact with anyone else has been wonderful. Now it’s back to the grind. Oh well.

First, I had to finish up several letters of recommendation. I am finally done with all of the letters that I’ve agreed to write so far. So, I’m glad that I have accomplished that.

Second, I distributed a memo to the members of a committee that I’m chairing. We’ll be reviewing our department’s policies and procedures and creating a set of by-laws, though I want to call the final document our “Policies and Procedures” rather than by-laws. I’ll have to schedule a committee meeting at some point soon, but that can wait a while.

Next, I participated in my department’s seven-year review. Since I’m on the review committees for two departments later this term, I was glad to see how it’s supposed (or not supposed) to work. And my involvement was really limited: all I did was attend an open meeting with the outside reviewer.

And then I went to my first faculty senate meeting since June. When I left the June meeting, I told a couple of my colleagues that I would see them in six months. Now those six months have passed. The meeting was as tedious as usual. Several speakers kept telling us that, since there wasn’t much on the agenda, they would go ahead and tell us about x, y, or z, which meant that each speaker actually spoke longer than usual. So, for a meeting with a short agenda, we had a longer than usual meeting. On the one hand, I love being involved and knowing what’s going on. And I do really feel obliged to participate in faculty governance and service. On the other hand, these meetings are tedious and I can’t help but wonder why we spend so much of the time discussing minutia. But ultimately all I have to do is sit and listen, so there’s not that much to complain about.

Now that I’m back at work, the important question is: what did I accomplish?

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