Wow, it’s hard to believe we’re already at reading week. It feels like just yesterday we were starting the new term and year, let alone ending the summer. But time moves strangely these days as we continue to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet despite all that, reading week is here and it’s an important time for us all.
For one thing, it’s wonderful to be back in person on campus. After the difficulties and challenges associated with online learning, it’s fantastic to be teaching students again the classroom. You can see the energy they’re bringing to the discussions in every class. They’re hungry for knowledge and excited to be there. From a teacher’s perspective, it’s extremely heartening to see. Even more than that, it’s very motivating.
When reading week rolls around every year, I like to use it as an opportunity to reflect on where I’ve been and where I’m going. It’s a great time to rest, catch up on any work from the first half of time, and prepare for the rest of it. It’s a natural time to take stock, think about how you’ve performed so far, and how you might like to improve. For me, it always feels like an inflection point, and I like to treat it as such. It’s a doorway, and it’s time to walk through it.
Thinking about my own experience so far this term, it’s been an incredibly busy time. In fact, it’s probably been busier than I anticipated. I’m teaching two classes this year, which adds more work, but it’s definitely the rewarding kind. At the same time, I’m trying to make more progress on my dissertation and think about my future. I’ve always been planning a conference set to take place this month and working on my second peer reviewed journal article. As you can see, there’s a lot going on right now.
But as I write this during reading week, I think it’s also vital to keep everything in perspective. Yes, all that is important to me, but my health, happiness, and wellbeing is the crux of it all. Without those things, I can’t make progress on anything else. So I’m taking the time to rest, relax, and enjoy myself outside work. When we have the opportunities to do that, it makes us more productive and fulfilled. So enjoy your reading week, take some time to reflect, and don’t forget to rest!