This may be a late year-end/year-start post, but I’ve finally outlined some goals so I wanted to put them in blog form. As I get my dossier ready for year-end on campus I can actually see that 2015 was a more productive year than I thought. My goals for 2016 build on what I accomplished in 2015 and adds a few more things.
January of 2015 I came back to teaching after having Fall 2014 off after the birth of our son. I had continued researching and doing a little writing during my leave, but it was nice to get back into the classroom. I taught my normal load (3 courses, 2 preps), and one of the classes was a blended history of science course. It was based on the online version of the class a colleague of mine taught for me during my maternity leave. Both formats were successful. At the end of the 2015 spring semester, I’d had my highest and best course eval numbers ever. Why? I have no clue. I felt like I’d taught the same as I ever had, but I spoke to a colleague and she said the same thing happened to her after her maternity leave. I was on research leave for Fall 2015, so I have no teaching recap for that semester.
For Spring 2016, I will continue the blended history of science class as well as the traditional Western Civ course. In the Fall of 2016, I will be teaching history of science as well as a seminar-style women in the history of science course. This will be my second time teaching what I consider to be a really important course–especially on a campus where in the student population men outnumber women 3-1, and there is a severe lack of female faculty. For history of science, I will be incorporating a new series of assignments through Wikipedia. The dreaded Wikipedia. My goal is to work with the Wiki Education Foundation to have my students edit and write wikipedia entries for history of science topics and issues. I did not have time to incorporate this into the Spring assignments as the training for both me and my students would be difficult to do quickly.
Research was much busier in 2015. I taught in the Spring of 2015, but had the Fall semester away from the classroom so I had concentrated time for research. I had no idea how hard research would be with a toddler! Thanks to great departmental support, spousal support, and the support of my university, I was able to focus from May to December on research projects. Here is a brief rundown: As part of HARN, I helped to organize our 2015 conference that took place in Glasgow, just before the EAA. I delivered papers at 2 conferences and organized one of the sessions in which I delivered a paper, gave 2 invited talks, and published one book review. I did quite a few book reviews for the HARN blog this year as well. I applied for 2 major grants and got one. I applied for 2 minor grants and got one. Because of those grants, I went on 3 research trips–one to New York City in May, one to Glasgow, London, and Cairo in September, and one to Chicago in December. These trips are focused on two projects–a correspondence collection and a book about scientific networks (more on those this year). I had a goal to get two articles out, but I only got one out for review. I also sent out a book proposal for review. I wrote far more for this blog than I thought I would, and I definitely count that for research. I became an assistant editor for the Bulletin of the History of Archaeology, where we are working through some good papers but always want more!
For 2016, I hope to complete the book for which I sent out the proposal and get at least one more article or chapter out for review. I have a few more book reviews in the chute, too. Sometimes people don’t like doing book reviews, but honestly I love it. I get to read new research and learn what’s new in the field. Sometimes the research is marginal to my own expertise, which means I get to really learn some new ideas. My advice would be not to shun them as they do double duty for scholars–you learn a lot while doing some service to the profession. I will be presenting papers at at least 2 conferences that I know of, as well as helping to organize HARN 2016 conference for the fall. The book on scientific networks will continue coming together, but I don’t expect to have any sort of proposals or drafts ready for publication for another year or two. I also plan to continue this blog. I’ve enjoyed getting my ideas out and getting your feedback!
Those are a few of my 2016 goals for teaching and research. I have personal goals, especially for fitness. Some of you may know I’m a runner, cyclist, and Ironman triathlete. I find those types of goals much easier to outline, as I know my physical limitations better than I do my intellectual ones. For fitness, it’s speed. I’m not fast, but I can win some local races. I thrive on distance, and if you point me in the right direction, I can run or cycle for as long as I need to to get to the finish. There are 2 marathons on my calendar and a possible 50K, among many smaller races. The physical endurance I have built in the last 10+ years helps me in my professional life, where projects can take not just months but years to complete.
How was your 2015? What are your 2016 goals?