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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

New Directions

For anyone who was wondering: yes, I'm still alive! But the last few months have certainly been interesting! In July, I was asked to be the Director of our Center for Teaching and Learning, so August was mostly a blur of meetings (and extreme stress!) as I tried to get up to speed and ready for the start of the school year. It's taken me this long to feel like I have some clue about what I'm doing (or at least, to feel like I can fake having a clue with reasonable credibility :-)). It's definitely been an adjustment. The position is sort of halfway between administration and faculty, which turns out to mean that when I'm in a room with mostly staff and administrators, I find myself speaking as a faculty person, and when I'm in a room with mostly faculty, I tend to find myself speaking as an administrator. That's not always fun but on the plus side, I feel like in both situations, I have an opportunity to move the conversation in productive directions.

I'm still half-time in the Econ department, although I'm not teaching this semester; I'll be teaching one class each year and I chose to hold onto my writing class which we usually offer in the spring. I just did a presentation at the National Economics Teaching Conference on integrating writing (the materials for all the sessions, including mine, can be downloaded from that link) and hope to write soon about some of the questions that were raised there. But one consequence of my new position is that I'm now much more interested in/aware of how teaching issues affect faculty across the university, not just in economics, and I may start exploring some of those issues in posts here as well.

Happy holidays everyone! May you have much for which to be thankful...