I have reached one of my favorite points of the academic year again. My grades for the fall quarter have been filed, and the start of classes in the winter quarter is still over a month away. All of this means that it’s research time again, with a few neglected service obligations thrown in there for good measure. And I am finding myself absolutely obsessed with my research projects. Each day I sit down with my to-do list and pledge to be good about dealing with the service tasks that have been pushed off for too long during the very busy fall quarter. And every day I instead I’m drawn to the research tasks. “I’ll just write that one piece of the introduction.” “I promise to write the evaluation report after I’ve had a chance to look up that one reference.” I have managed to get the urgent service obligations done, but in a contest between the medium-priority items I’m finding the research ones are winning. A large contributing factor is that I have new collaborations that are energizing me in a way I haven’t experienced in  years, for which I’m very grateful. But I do feel a bit bad about my systematic preference. So if you’re waiting for me to get some service work done for you, please have patience and try bugging me again. The obsession should wear off at some point.