Friday, September 21
Adviser: Hey, I had a great idea! You could use Fancy New Method to address your thesis topic!
Dandelion: That would be fantastic if it worked, but given that it's New, it'll probably take months to set up and optimise. Can't I just try to get some results now that Slightly Older Also Cool Method is finally working after months of optimisation?
Adviser: Don't worry about SOACM, it would be so much cooler with FNM! And it'll hardly take any time to set up, I'm sure. Your results will be so much more exciting than the boring ones you're going to get this way.
Dandelion: It would be much more interesting. If you really think it'll work, it would be worth it. I'll try it.
Dandelion goes off to figure out how to use FNM and plan experiments.
Adviser: So, what's your plan for finishing up this project with SOACM? Can we publish this soon?
Dandelion: Um, what happened to FNM? I've been working on that.
Adviser: Oh, that's not going to work. It's too new and will take too long to optimise. You should try to get something published soon. Besides, you don't want to waste all the effort you've put into SOACM.
Dandelion: Argh!
A couple months pass. Repeat from the beginning.

If only her enthusiasm weren't so infectious and convincing... At least I've learned not to stop working on SOACM, while investigating the FNM of the day.
Tuesday, September 18
What do you do when you "catch" (like it's difficult to spot) students sleeping during your classes?
Thursday, September 13
Guys, where is everybody? Do you remember the fun we had back in the old days (I believe it was just a tiny year ago)?

Whatever happened to Clear and Plaid? Did they switch over to the dark side and said good-bye to their practice of posting witty graphic secrets?

And where is my friend Kodachrome? Have you been sucked into the tenure-track vortex?

Maybe we could expand the scope of this blog to make it about more than secrets and troubles in academia. After all, there are some things in this life that actually make it worth living, or am I just speaking for myself?

Well, I hope to see many of you back on a.secret...long live the lovely species of the blogging academic!
Tuesday, September 4
Oh... to teaching, that's where.

I can't believe that just a few short summer months was long enough to wipe from my brain the time, energy, and commitment that the "teaching" part of my job takes. I don't even teach at a teaching school - this is an R1 school that values teaching. Uh huh. We'll see how that value gets translated at tenure time.

Granted there are always the semester start-up costs (adding and dropping students, dealing with the bookstore, teaching how to use the course management site, plus most of my students are freshman who don't even know where to get coffee on campus), but I haven't gotten anything substantial accomplished since classes began not-too-long ago.

Is anyone else having a hard time switching gears from research to teaching? Has anyone found a way to balance the two? I feel a little like I'm sixteen years old and learning how to drive a clutch. How can I balance the brake and the clutch without stalling?