The holiday hiatus

Wow.  It’s been a while since I’ve blogged, and I have to admit I have missed it.  Much more, certainly, than any of my readers.  Of course, I hope there are people out there reading Noggin Bloggin who missed, but I know that the writer often misses the practice of writing more than the audience misses the practice of reading.  I’d like to say I was on a furious strain of productivity over the holidays that prevented me from blogging.  But the truth of the matter is I just rested this break.  I got engaged.  I spent time with family.  I got a couple of manuscripts published.  And I just enjoyed being.  That’s an interesting practice for me if you know me.  I’ m a doer.  So just resting was quite a change.  But with it has come a renewal that should help amp up my little brain and get ready for this semester.

First thing on which I will post is relevant to time.  Time is something we all must deal with for better or for worse, and it is quickly becoming both my closest friend and enemy this semester.  You see – this is the first semester that I am only teaching one class (instead of my usual 2-3) and I am taking no classes (instead of my usual 2-3).  So, I am left mostly to write, research, and focus on improving my teaching for the one course I’m teaching.  In this emptiness, I am finding that I, the ultimate “doer”, am getting a little lost.  I have started making to do lists of writing projects and presentations just to make sure I’m actually doing something when I come into the office.  But having such an undefined space has been a challenge for me.  In some ways, time itself and the nature of it has changed for me drastically this semester.

As time has changed for me, I’ve had to redefine what I do in the space of time.  Ordinarily, it has been rushing to get a million deadlines met (grade this, turn in that assignment, submit this article, etc.).  But this semester, I am working to create in this empty space that currently exists for me.  The good news is that with much space comes much opportunity for creating.  For instance, I actually have time to devote to brainstorming and implementing new ideas for teaching.  For example, I am going to have my statistics class vote on things they want to know about, then I’m going to create a survey for about that topic, have them hand it out for a few people, and we will analyze it in class.  This way, they can utilize the statistics we’ve been using to inform them about something FUN they want to know about.

I’m also getting the time to think carefully through future projects and experimental design.  Additionally, I’m getting to write a ton without the burning pressure of all the other assignments I have in my life.  And I’m getting to plan my wedding.  It turns out that despite my natural organizational and planning skills, I’m not as good at this one because I’m so used to doing everything related to my work!

So balance, growth, and contemplation are the words for this semester.  Stick with me on the journey.  Hopefully it will turn out some less hurried and more fruitful posts.

About Megan Johnson Shen

I am a social psychologist graduating with my Ph.D. from Baylor University this May and moving to NYC this summer to start a new job as a postdoctoral researcher at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in the Cancer Prevention and Control Department. I love the brain, human behavior, and anything to do with understanding them better. I love research and a good dinner party. Fine wine and cheese - I'm there. Interesting experimental data? I'll probably show for that too. View all posts by Megan Johnson Shen

One response to “The holiday hiatus

  • boston

    you already know my opinion. I’ve sent you a few items that could inspire ;)…now get going before I lose access to my resource!

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