One of the adventures of teaching part-time is that I never know what's next, particularly at the end of the school year. Am I teaching in the Fall? It doesn't help that the fiscal year ends and begins in the middle of the two summer sessions, so that departments can't make immediate decisions early. Or that for the last decade we've had uncertain budgets and adventures in state funding and university priorities, so that departments don't always even know how much money they're going to get. I've been doing this for nearly twenty years and, like enduring rejections from market after market, all you can do is go with the flow.
Alas, Tuesday I learned that I didn't have an assignment for Fall 2011, though I should have a class for January 2012 -- I don't count anything until I get a signed contract letter AND enrollment passes the threshold.
The Third Time's The Charm?
Rather than be upset or depressed about this, I am taking advantage of finishing 2011 free and clear -- though the free part is annoying (grin) -- and declaring this to be Sabbatical 1.3.
As some of you may recall, Mrs. Dr. Phil had a six-month sabbatical in the first half of 2009, and when it looked like I wasn't teaching from July to December that year, I declared that I'd get a six-month sabbatical to do writing. But a funny thing happened, and I ended up teaching a class in Fall 2009 anyway. So lather, rinse, repeat and in 2010, a similar situation developed and I did two months off for Sabbatical 1.21 in May-June, taught a course and scheduled Sabbatical 1.22 for September-December. Once again, however, a course showed up for Fall 2010.
So this is my third attempt at having a half-year -- five months effectively at this point -- sabbatical and switch into full-time writing mode for a while. I need to hit the start of this hard, because there is always the possibility that something will happen in the next four weeks and I'll find myself back in the classroom anyway after Labor Day. (whistling-in-the-dark-grin)
So, What's Next?
During Sabbatical 1.1 in 2009, one of my projects was finishing a novel and sending it off. So I have several other novel projects that I just need to spend Time In Chair on. I have a rewrite to work on and a number of other shorter projects. With novels ready to go, I shall start working on getting an agent as well.
Nearly a year ago I did something which ended up compressing a nerve in my leg and that's caused all sorts of problems. Including limiting the amount of Time In Chair I could stand (or sit if you want to be precise), so it's just as well that Sabbatical 1.22 in Fall 2010 was canceled and I was back in the classroom. I also skipped WindyCon -- that is not going to happen this year.
Also this summer I've already made one trip to my mother's house in Greensboro NC. And I was planning to do an August trip. But... given the opening up of my schedule and the heat which had gripped the South for so long, it makes sense to defer that trip to the fall. Maybe I'll have to take pictures of the fall colors in the West Virginia mountains. (grin) Though I can see it now -- as soon as I work through the time that I would've used for my August trip, I'll get a class for Fall, you wait and see.