Being consistently productive is a balancing act. Sadly, my best intentions to maintain a robust and active blog fell prey to the oft overwhelming forces of the dreaded end-of-semester chaos. First there were papers to write over spring “break” (as I always refer to it). Then I traveled to Milwaukee for the annual meeting of the Organization of American Historians (OAH), paired with a research trip to the Wisconsin State Historical Society in Madison. And before I knew it, the end of the semester was at hand. My life became a series of seemingly endless meetings with students fretting over their course grades and the impending final exam, followed by evenings of reading, writing, and grading, and several weeks of less exercise, less sleep, and a far less clean apartment than I generally prefer.
After all of this, of course, came the inevitable desperate race for the finish line: a final paper, final meetings, the final exam, hours of tedious grading, decisions about final grades, my last meeting as HGSA president, and…the glorious conclusion of the semester. Then came the reward of (gasp!) several nights of decent sleep as well as the now traditional brain drain/layabout/revitalization break. My husband and I managed to take the second vacation of our adult lives. My routine is back on track, I have significantly reduced the ick factor of our apartment (AND made a few bucks on eBay while decluttering), my history mojo is restored, and I’m looking forward to the steaming through my final couple of years of graduate school.
Although I have remained productive in other ways, I will be bumping up my efforts to write and post regularly. My next post will conclude my blogging on my research into the history of hygiene. I am also looking forward to sharing a few insights I took away from the 2012 OAH meeting, delving into the craft of writing, and sharing the pain of my preparation for my comprehensive examinations. Here’s to the balancing act.