Possibly the hardest thing about going from being a fulltime faculty member to an administrator is the loss of control of one’s schedule – especially in the summer! This summer, thanks to my great boss, I am “working remotely” from Ft. Collins, Colorado for the month of July (well, most of July since I will be passing back through Gambier the week of July 24 to attend Senior Staff retreat).
After 20 hours on the road, the spouse, the dog and I arrived at our VRBO house a few blocks from Old Town (lots of great little shops and eating places) on Monday night. The house is cute and the dog has a fenced yard (although he is quite disappointed about the lack of squirrels and other wild life to chase). However, my attempt to escape the near constant construction noise at Bailey House has failed. We were welcomed by major street construction right in front of our little slice of vacation paradise! Neighbors say it should be over soon, which is a much better forecast than for the end of construction near Bailey House so I guess I still “traded up.”
We spent a day getting the house set up (groceries, etc.) and explored some of the city parks on the July 4 holiday, but now I have to learn to “work remotely.” I came with my “strategic plan” for the summer (yes, I really am trying to practice what I preach!), but I am finding it hard to settle in to a new work routine. I have taken over an enclosed porch for my “office” but have successfully avoided doing much beyond email and catching up on some work related reading this week. I’ve given myself this week for the “transition” but am just beginning to realize how my own routines (yoga TTH morning and F afternoon; scanning the front page of the NYT, Starbucks before going to the office, walking the dog first thing in the morning,…) are my preparation for my work day. I am trying to create new routines that honor the flexibility of the summer, set me up for a productive month, and give me a chance to enjoy being in Colorado.
I know this is a dilemma faculty face every summer and one which I seem to have forgotten how to deal with. Other than coming in a little later, having fewer meetings, and going home a little earlier, my summer schedule the past few years has looked a lot like my academic year schedule. So how do you “structure” your summers to rest and recharge and keep your projects moving forward (and I hope someone says Writing Group!)?