This fall has had some transitions and some unexpected bobbles:
I finished my term as Graduate Program Director in my department, so I’ve gone back to teaching two courses in the fall. I’ve taught both my regular courses before but I’ve revised them both extensively, so there’s a lot of work there.
I’m also teaching a new first-year seminar on “People and Insects”—fascinating subject, if I may say so myself. That’s connected to my new book project on insects in European art, science, and theology, c. 1580-1750. I’m currently applying for fellowships to support a sabbatical research year in 2011-12 to work full-time on the book project.
On the administrative side, I’ve taken on the co-directorship of our university’s new Digital Humanities Initiative, which mostly involves writing budget memos and coordinating events at the moment. My co-director, Donna LeCourt, has done most of the heavy lifting so far.
On the bobble side, my stepfather had a serious accident a couple weeks ago while helping to dock a boat, and he’s been in a trauma ICU in Buffalo, NY, ever since. I’ve made one trip there so far and am planning another this coming weekend.
My cycling has been affected accordingly. I’ve done 75-125 miles per week since getting back, including a daily commute as much as possible. I had been thinking about doing the 170K/112 mile Great River Ride on October 12; I might still do that, or I might do the 62- or 80-mile options. The 62-miler would be a cakewalk; 80 miles would be possible but a lot more work, and the 112-mile ride would be a real challenge. My longest ride this fall has been about 40 miles, and I’ve done 75 miles over two days. I probably can’t get in another long training ride before Oct. 12, so what I’ve done is what I have to work with.