Back to school

In mid-July I signed a book contract with Oxford University Press. After the celebration, a drink, or three, and the kudos and all, it sunk in. There's work to be done, and not a lot of time, with a deadline to submit a full draft by February 1, 2017. There's inevitably some leeway in a deadline like this as things move along--a delay of a week or a month, even longer, is not unusual in the publishing world; some might say it's the norm. I would so like to be on target, though, but here I am, late August, and not much to show for it. Not yet, at least. 

Between signing day and now, I've been traveling non-stop. Some of it has been research-related--my two-week stint in Bangalore to catch up with the golf caddies I've been following since 2007 fits the description, obviously; likewise, a pair of talks at the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association this week in Seattle--one Friday, at a "Precarious Work" mini-conference, and one Saturday, both on the topic of labor rights and exploitation at the golf clubs in Bangalore (more on that in a follow-up post). There's also been visits with family and friends in London, Seattle, and Vancouver. And there's been the necessary prepping of classes for the new semester ahead--two courses, to be exact, a freshman Tutorial class I'm calling "The Presentation of Self in Digital Life," and a standard class in the Sociology Major at Grinnell College labeled, dryly, "Contemporary Sociological Theory."

The new semester? It starts this week, beginning with an 8:30 a.m. get-to-know-you breakfast with my Tutorial students Monday morning, followed by back-to-back 45-minute advising sessions with each of them, which will carry over to Tuesday. Then there's a faculty meeting Wednesday, in addition to a few more meetings. Classes kick off Thursday, and we're away.

This isn't a grievance or a complaint. Quite the opposite, actually. I'm excited about the coming year. For the teaching, yes, but also the writing--this book project, love it though I do, is coming to a close. This past spring semester was relatively productive. and this one will be more so, I've decided. It'll require a major refocusing of energies and commitments, especially after the travel these last few weeks. But I'm ready.