I’ve finished teaching my classes for the spring quarter, with only two final exams between me and the summer break. The final stretch of the spring quarter has felt like an odd combination of a sprint and an endurance event, since I’m both jumping from imminent deadline to imminent deadline and completely exhausted. The end of a term is never easy, but since the spring quarter is the last one of the academic year there are piles of unique tasks that belong to it, like interviewing and hiring Python teaching assistants for next academic year.
Normally I tolerate the frenetic pace at the end of the spring quarter fairly well since I know that the more relaxed summer break is coming. While I’m never not working I do have fewer responsibilities in the summer and a more flexible schedule. Sadly though that’s not so true this year. I’m serving as program co-chair for SIGITE/RIIT 2014, and the majority of the work putting together the program will be in June, July, and August. This month I’m going to a workshop in D.C. and attending ITiCSE in Uppsala. In addition to preparing a panel for ITiCSE, I’m on a working group this year and have tasks that need to get done prior to leaving for Sweden. To round out the work trips, I’ll be presenting two papers at FECS in Las Vegas in July.
The start of summer also means lots of family events, including school shows, field trips, camping trips, and vacations. So while I never learned to juggle, I have to imagine that the feeling I have right now is familiar to those who do. I have so many things in the air that it feels like one slip will cause a cascade of things to pile on top of me. I’m fairly proud that a regimented use of to-dos has so far helped me to keep it together. I just hope that I maintain the rhythm long enough for the tasks to vanish before they fall.