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I *am* an academic October 1, 2008

Posted by Raul in academic life, personal life, random thoughts.
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Photo credit: Roland on Flickr.

I had a lovely day today (well, yesterday since it’s Wednesday by now) where I finished editing two journal articles (one approved for publication with minor revisions and one for peer-review), doing a peer-review of a journal article (which I rejected as the article was horrendous) and managed to do a couple other errands and have a lovely meeting with Robert Ballantyne.

During our meeting (where I gained a lot of insights), he emphasized one thing. He said “well, you ARE an academic“. And it’s true. I’ve been trained as an academic. I look at things, phenomena, stuff through research-trained eyes. My heart jumps when I publish another journal article, when I share my research in conferences and present papers, when my students graduate, when I write letters of reference for them for graduate school, etc. And I absolutely love, love, love teaching.

I live, breathe and eat research and teaching. Well, I have. The past few months, I have sort-of-abandoned the research field. Well, maybe abandoning is not the right verb. I still do research and I still have presented at conferences (like this summer) but I’m not as active as I used to be and I haven’t been able to keep up with the literature on some of the areas where I’ve done research.

By the time September came, I already had lined up 3 or 4 conferences for the following year, and I already knew my travel calendar for the fall. This time, I think I’m only doing 2 conferences in total in 2008. That’s really, really very few conferences and talks for my standards (although I seem to recall that I may have not presented anything around 2002).

However, the past few weeks (particularly since I’ve been back in Vancouver) I’ve started to come to terms with the fact that maybe I’ll have to keep blogging and social media as a side, instead of fully incorporating it into my portfolio. I need to get back to my research portfolio and find ways to expand my output in such a way that I can apply my recently acquired social media skills to my academic pursuits.

Today, as I was talking with Robert (and later in the evening with my brother A, who is a tenure-track professor right now) and in previous weeks with my good friends HZ and Beth Snow, I *do* love academia. It’s the family business (Mom, 2 of my brothers, myself).

Now this doesn’t mean that I’m going to stop blogging or that I’ll shift much the focus of my blog. I may blog more infrequently but not stop fully. I may incorporate more of my research into my blog writing. This is just a quick reflection on what I think will be the future for me.

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