Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Summer's Here!

All this week it has been near 80 degrees here in Marion and that triggered something inside my students--"SNAP" they now believe Summer's here. They are all over campus sprawled out on blankets "studying" and the art students are painting and drawing this and that. Students (when the professor is talking) have this vacant gaze on their faces and professors tell each other, "Man I'm getting nowhere."

It isn't just students. I've been riding my bike to classes, and I take detours on the way home. I've been cutting flowers and bringing them in to my wife, and I've started my "To the Finish Line" countdown sheets in every course... It isn't long now.
1. The rest of this week.
2. Partial week next week (no Friday classes)
3. Partial week the following week (no Monday classes)
4. Then the final full week of classes.

Whew--summer IS almost here. My first set of "Books" comes in Tuesday in CLPL. So I'm in final grading mode already. Which is right timing... by now most faculty are tired and crabby. We're tired of school, tired of students, tired of being tired. So it comes none too soon.

As for my life. I am heading out for Michigan Thursday for a multi-district "Leadership day." I'm starting off with "Strategetics" (The last time I did this live was 19 years agi--so no minister under 30 has ever heard it direct) Then I'm doing an address on "Membership Matters" and after lunch finishing up with "Changes in the church and the ministry over the last 50 years which ends with 25 characteristics I see in my students which could indicate future changes coming (or not).

As for the Creed book, it is on hold in March--the yellow flag came out in march and I will re-start my engines in April.

As for Sharon she begins teaching full time in the doctoral program (he dream job) April 2.

As for summer plans... so far I'm going to Turkey with my two sons in June and to the Colorado Trail with faculty (including Sharon) in August... I'm meditating on taking a nibble at the CDT a bit again in July...but not sure yet.

As for the Potawatomi Trail of Death book...it should come off the presses in a week or so--I'll update you and post the picture on by ww.tuesdaycolumn.com site.

As for right now...I think I'll go get a blanket and sprawl on the grass....

Friday, March 23, 2007

I'm hiding in the grass

Sorry if some of you have written me and not gotten a response...or perhaps got a two word response to a long email. I'm buried right now... this semester is catching up to me... 18 hour teach load. trying to write this creed book, 10-15 hours of committees last week...and now advising arrives. A few days ago I was busy for a few days and got 300 emails behind... Ugh!

What I've learned to do in those situations is to take a few hours early in the morning to catch up what I can...then I drag all the rest into a folder titled "See me someday" and start fresh. So if you asked me something really important and I missed it doing my morning cruise before dragging... send another... after having done the drag-out I now feel I am "up to date" again. ;-)

coach d

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Spring Break Wheeeeeeeeeeee!

I'm on spring break. Well, actually it doesn't start for another day--but I've been mentally on break for about two days--no, make that all week. Spring break is one of those wonderful gifts of being a college professor. Right when things start getting really wild BOOM you get a week off. According to a recent survey of IWU faculty the average work week is 60-70 hours per week during the school year. Spring break helps balance that out.

As for us, we are going to a sweet Amish-built log cabin off in the woods in Northern Indiana for a quiet week. When we tell people that they often ask, "What is there to "do" around there?" I just laugh. I already have enough to "do" around here. That's the idea--go somewhere where there ISN'T anything to "do!"

So don't come and visit me--I'll be busy doing nothing.

Back in a week or so.... not until after I'm done doing nothing ;-)
Ahhhhhh just returned home ... I did pretty good doing nothing... only failed to do it some of the time when I slipped and did some grading and wrote a column.. but I did achieve these "goals:"
-Slept about 10 hours every night
-Watched the today show every day on a little TV with rabbit ears.
-Baked bread twice a day and ate it all (Sharon helped)
-Went to a video store that was selling out their old Video Cassettes and bought 20 at 80 cents each and watched half of them.
-Played video games until I got stuck at the second level (or fourth).
-Read a few books that were not serious.
-Took a few walks in the snow.
-Sat in the sunshine in the afternoons on the cabin's porch.
-Thought up wonderful ideas and never wrote any of them down.
-Took several naps in the afternoons
-Had a dozen or so of those "chats" women like their husbands to have with them.
-Drove to the nearby Mennonite-Amish town's library and browsed unseriously.
-Cooked every meal alongside Sharon then ate it all, leaving no leftovers.
-Came home wound down almost as much as I come home from backpacking.
-Got a serious case of "Spring Fever" that I plan to retain until summer.
ahhhhhhh... the joy of accomplishing one's goals!