No cooking, but lots of work news

I wish I had something fun and/or food related to blog about, but the truth is, nothing particularly exciting has been coming out of my kitchen. This weekend I baked two batches of cookie bars for the library picnic, but neither is a pretty recipe or interesting enough to get a post. I also baked a vegan chocolate cake, but that recipe was an epic failure. I’ve been cooking, but generally just easy/quick dishes to get us fed and through this first part of September. It’s been hard to get excited about food lately – I haven’t been feeling 100% and there have just been so many things that have to be done. But, all of that is finally slowing down. We’re done with wedding things, except for ordering photos and writing thank you notes. We’ve even moved over all of our insurance and opened a joint account. Work is settling in to the regularity of the semester. I finished my last big summer project yesterday (although I have another related project to get done before the end of December – it’s nothing compared to the one I just finished). With classroom faculty and students back on campus, long days working on my own projects are replaced with meetings and classes and general running around. It’s a nice change, but it always throws me for a loop. This year will be particularly crazy due to two work-related things.

First, I’m up for review in early 2013. For those of you who don’t work in academia, this is a big deal. My colleagues review a portfolio I’ve created that (hopefully) represents my work and recommend me either for a contract renewal, or not. Then it goes through a complicated system going up the various levels of the university. It takes so long that while I hear about my unit’s recommendation in February, I don’t get my official letter until June or July. This is my second review, meaning I’m halfway to tenure. It’s important to remember that tenure is not automatic, and neither are my contract renewals. While I shouldn’t have any problems (I’ve been doing my job and hitting the marks for scholarship and service), it’s still a lot of pressure (and work).

Second, I’ve been accepted to present a paper at ACRL 2013! This is a big deal. Mostly I’m excited because being accepted means I get to keep my job! (Presenting and publishing is a job requirement for me. This presentation comes with a paper published in the proceedings of the conference. That checks a box on the long list of things I have to do before tenure that I had not yet checked.) But also because I am passionate about what I’m speaking about. I’ll be presenting the results of a survey on how academic patrons find and use government information. (Spoiler alert – they aren’t using libraries! And that’s OK!)

Anyway, I’m hoping to get back into the cooking groove in the next week or so. My kitchen is full of delicious ingredients and I have lots of recipes I’m looking to try. It should be a fun, if busy, fall.

And if you’re wondering why I’m posting in the middle of a weekday – I’m off on “vacation” today. Gary (aka El Gato Gigante) has a dental appointment today, so I’m home waiting to hear from the vet. Gary has a problem with absorption lesions (his body actually tries to absorb his teeth), and there’s not much we can do about it except wait for them to show up and then remove the tooth when it goes bad. They don’t know why they happen or what we can do to avoid it, so we just take care of him as best we can.

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