Terra Sigillata

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My Y chromosome and I are supremely honored to have been invited by skookumchick to host the August edition of Scientiae, the blog carnival of “stories of and from women in science, engineering, technology, and math.” But remember: “Posts are welcome from women and men and everyone in between if they focus on the topic of the Carnival.”

For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, it is summer. In academia in particular, summer is often a time when institutional responsibilities (teaching, committees) are at somewhat of a lull – still buzzing but less demanding than usual for most. One has much more time to devote to research and other scholarly efforts that may have come second to teaching and service during the primary academic year.

However, summer is also supposed to be a time for renewal, recharging, and reconnecting – an opportunity to take some time off and take care of yourself a little better, perhaps at least a little better than during the Spring semester. The sun is out longer, you can spend more time with your family, get in a run after work, take a vacation at the beach or mountains – maybe even visit a foreign country. Perhaps you even mix work with pleasure and take advantage of a scholarly workshop in a great destination.

But competing with this concept is often the albatross of unfinished papers, the need for field research, new grant applications, summer students, and preparing for fall academic responsibilities.

For example, there will be no summer vacation for the PharmFamily; perhaps not even more than a weekend away until at least Christmas. The first of July saw the beginning of a new training year for my better half, this week found our daughter starting her next grade as we are on a year-round elementary school schedule, and I am living in academic hell. We all need a vacation – badly. I personally need to get away from the heat and humidity for the dry air of Colorado and the intense colors of nature that only hypoxemia and the Rocky Mountain West can provide.

I recognize that not all past and prospective Scientiae contributors are in academia. But I know that all of us battle during the summer with what we need to do and what we want to do.

So, I propose the theme for the August Scientiae carnival is:

Summer days, driftin’ away. . .

Consider how you balance the demands and pleasures of this season. Have you found ways to make progress on your must-dos while also taking time for your family, friends – and yourself – and being in the moment of this time of year? Or are July and August just another month for you?

And so as not to exclude our colleagues in the Southern Hemisphere (where I am fortunate to draw 5-7% of my blog visitors), why don’t you take this time from your winter and reflect upon how you will enjoy your summer?

To submit entries, all you need to do is look here for submission information or read the following:

Please e-mail the permalink URL to your posts to scientiaecarnival at ye olde gmail by Friday 31 July. I’ll compile them and post the carnival on either Saturday 1 August or, more likely, Sunday 2 August.

Many thanks to the Skook-meister for trusting me with hosting the carnival and to each of you in advance for your usual insightful and engaging reflections.

Comments

  1. #1 Coturnix
    July 18, 2009

    Hmmm, the first-week-in-school-assignment to write an essay on “What I did last summer”? Or a screenplay for “I Know What You Did Last Summmer, Part 43″?

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