Spring 2015 is in the books. The grades are done, the graduates are off to new adventures, and the campus is quiet (except for the incessant construction noise). This semester was particularly hard on the students, faculty, and staff at UMW, what with (in chronological order) the arrests of student protesters, the murder of a beloved student apparently at the hands of another student, and the culmination of a particularly acrimonious faculty governance debate.
In light of these events, it’s been even harder to find my voice and write, now that I have the time to do so. I have traditionally found the first few weeks after the end of the spring semester to be the most challenging weeks for writing. Teaching a 4/4 load requires a certain amount of recharging when the grades are finalized, and it’s not easy to shift gears into researching and writing mode. So I lose a precious week or two to the simple need to relax and refocus. Yet I have to write now, because the same 4/4 load (plus service commitments) makes it exceedingly difficult to accomplish my professional and scholarly tasks during the academic year. It’s write now or write never.
I’m also in a holding pattern in terms of my book manuscript. One reader report is in; the other is not. I haven’t seen the first–nor should I without the second–and so I can only speculate about whether I’ll be asked to make minor or major revisions.
But I’m not completely without a writing voice. I’ve submitted a piece to Then and Now, and I’m making glacial progress in editing a piece I’ve written for the Journal of Southern Religion. Waiting for me to return to it is another article, only in draft form, about the black/white interactions at a black Baptist seminary.
Perhaps this blog post can help me make the transition. Maybe it won’t. We’ll find out soon.