The title is provisional for this blog, for everything, really. It comes from my “title” as a professional—“Associate Professor.” Here is the gist of the Wikipedia entry for Associate Professor: “mid-level, usually tenured, professor.” And here are the highlights from the definition of “associate” from the MerriamWebster dictionary: “to join as a partner, friend, or companion; obsolete: to keep company with: attend; to join or connect together: combine; to bring together or into relationship in any of various intangible ways (as in memory or imagination)…to come or be together as partners, friends, or companions; to combine or join with other parts; unite.”
So this blog will be about and a performance of the “mid-level” and the “social.” These combinations, connections, and relationships that occur in the time of (and immediately before) my year of disassociation: My Sabbatical.
That could be the real title of the blog, but part of my goal here, even if I don’t write about the issue directly, is to muse about being an “associate,” being in what Henry James called “The Middle Years” which are also my very moments of “leave” from twelve years as a professor of English and writing.
I am debating whether I should post my calendar (which I printed out–it’s real!) so that I may make a public relationship with my aspirations for the year of dis-association. But I haven’t decided on that yet. Though I will by next week. Because indecision about projects must not last past the week’s end, because weekly is the goal for updating the blog, and, in turn, updating you (me, associations) on what happened.
This week: working on my proposal for the C’s, moving my article forward (from my paper given at the C’s “Complex Compositions”). Next step: rethinking “the radical middle,” something about systems, writing, innovation, dead-lines. For inspiration and the turn of this term, I’m looking to the final chapter by Livingston in Emergence and Embodiment(Eds. Clarke and Hansen).
Thanks, John and congrats on the sabbatical. Feel free to check in about your plans…this approach is new for me too, and is as much an experiment in writing pedagogy as it is an exercise in motivation.
I’m on sabbatical next year, too! And I also teach English & Writing, at Queens College/CUNY. I have as yet no plans at all! Planning 5 minutes ahead is a big deal for me. So you look to me like a paragon of organizational virtue. Good luck! John Weir