Long time readers of this blog have noted my struggles trying to balance earning enough money to support myself with actually living up to my identity as a scholar and actually doing research/writing. When I was a lowly doctoral candidate, there was a lag between finishing my coursework and passing my exams which made my dissertation the first real bit of research I did in months. Then I started (sob) adjuncting and working part-time (at the zoo, no less) for two years, which, apart from a presentation or two and a review essay, was a scholarship-free zone...I just didn't have time or energy to do serious writing. And it took me a full year to get used to the heavy grading load of a 5/4 composition teaching schedule, where it seems you always have papers. But I love my students...
On this front, however, I think I have made a break-through. I have been working on a book review-turned-full essay with a friend of mine...I have high hopes for this exposé of ethnography. I just been accepted to the 2007 Northeast Modern Language Association conference (and my panel chair seems wildly optimistic about my paper). In my pursuit to figure out exactly how network theory and cultural studies can usefully intersect, I spent the majority of this weekend reading several scholarly books (in my football time, of course). And while watching Monday Night Football, I got an idea for another essay which requires my immediate attention.
This is good, because in my darkest hours of grading over the past year, I have felt like my prime identity role was of paper grader...I now feel like I did when I started doctoral school. I have the buzz.
Watch out, academic world.