Noel noted today that the new year doesn't really begin unti the kids go back to school and the routine of work sets back in. That was today. Campus reopened, public school resumed, and at least in terms of our schedule, normalcy was restored.
Now, I can't say that I'm back to my usual routine, and I'm sure glad that's the case. As an administrator, I come back to work a few days before the rest of the faculty, and a little more than a week before classes resume. The office is quiet, there's plenty of time to work without interruption, and few meetings (and no classes) intervene with their repetitive urgency.
I'm happy to ease back into work. My colleague Phil and I are building an entirely new class, and we have a lot of work to do in the next few days to get that underway. But we've worked together closely before, we know each other well, and I have little anxiety about getting it done. There are several long-range projects underway that will be continuing this semester with committees and all that they entail; some of these have been muddling along in a two-steps-forward, one-step-back pattern, and though none of us are eager to get back into them, we'll all be glad to see them done.
And then there are big, intense, short-term efforts for the semester. We're conducting a faculty search, with three candidates visiting in the first three full weeks of classes. Our admissions process will begin with application review after the priority deadline of January 15, and keep up at a steady pace through three full-day interviews and final selection in mid-March. In the midst of all that, I have my usual regional religious studies conference, and I'm teaching a month-long Christian education course on Hell and a three-day short course on the Reformation.
Added all up like that, it seems like a very busy semester. Luckily I only have to live it one day at a time. And even better, I have a few days yet to get up to speed.