I’m counting down to the start of term, a fact made easier by all the North Americans starting back already. The to-do list before the end of the month is massively long and still includes finishing the organisational stuff for a conference and running a session at another conference. Once I get back to the office on Monday I know that I have to send out welcome letters to the new students, polish up the induction program for the incoming first year, the module induction for my second year course and the project induction (lab rules) for our third years. Yet again I find myself picking up other peoples slack.
I want to do some ‘back to school’ shopping as well but with various weekend events, its going to be difficult to hit the shops. I am mostly banned from buying any pens, notebooks etc – I need to finish the ones I already have before getting more. What I do need is a new winter coat, new smart boots with low heel (lab rules: heels less than 1.5 inches), and a new pair (or two) of jeans – I accidentally bleached some of my jeans the other week. They now have various pale splodges on them! No, it was a domestic not lab accident. I probably need a few new tops as well. It does bother me sometimes to always let lab rules dictate clothes but it is just easier to buy things that conform to the rules (coverage same as jeans,t-shirt and trainers, low heels etc). Now that I’m not in the lab doing research on a daily basis, the urge to buy cheaper clothes just incase they get ruined has passed, also because I was sick of wearing poor quality crap!
Gearing up for the start of term is a big deal because I teach very intensively in a short period. I need to have all the lectures prepped and associated materials uploaded to blackboard. I wont have time once term starts. The downside of this is that semester prep is eating into the end of summer, the upside is that for the remainder of the academic year I, unlike many of my colleagues, actually have time to write grant applications and do research! That’s provided I recover from the manic teaching weeks. Still, will find some time for fun before term starts – don’t want to feel like September was all hard work and no relaxation.