Friday, January 7, 2011


I turned in my tenure and promotion dossier on Wednesday. It was 232 pages long, and chock full of examples of what makes me a great teacher, writer, and colleague. Now I await the judgment of my department's Executive Committee: 11 people at various stages in their careers (some newly tenured, most having had it for a while).

Writing the dossier was one of the most emotionally exhausting experiences I've ever had. To condense 6 years' worth of teaching experience into the document was almost more than I could do--knowing that it means the difference between continued employment at a school and in a department that I have come to love, and a terminal year to look for another job. My self-assessment section was limited to 10 single-space pages, and I used all of that space. Perhaps I'll post it here. 

In any case, it's done--and I am satisfied. I have flirted with burn-out in previous years due to over-extending myself in service (and frankly, I wasn't that unhappy with doing the service because it made a big difference in the quality of life on my campus). My department forced me to step back and focus on my writing, and I have been less crazed as a result, but I have some doubt that it will be enough for some members of the department. My creative output has increased exponentially, yet the simple fact of the matter is that I can send out work, but I have to wait to hear back as to whether or not it's acceptable for the particular publication to which I've submitted it. And there's the rub.

It's out of my hands. In all senses of the phrase--it's out of my hands. And no matter what, I know in my soul that I'm meant to be a teacher. I will teach.

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