I've been feeling guilty of late for my complete blog silence, especially since in response to my last post everyone gave me such great feedback about contacting editors about bizarre reviews. I haven't had a chance to test that advice (despite a manuscript currently getting bizarre blow back from some reviewers), but that's really a story for another post. So I came back and visited my orphaned blog the other day and saw that I had 10 or so new comments. This made me feel even worse until I realized that 9 of them were spam ads (do they move in to neglected blogs like meth-labs into deserted buildings?). But one was a very sweet note which arrived just as General Disarray was trying to convince me to return to my blog:
"River Tam, a search party has been dispatched to determine whether or not you still have a pulse. Results hopefully to follow..." -- Prof-like Substance
Yes, I am still alive (technically). My utter blog silence is the result of a confluence of events that have put me in extreme survival mode. Over the past few months I have: been teaching my large lecture class (for a sampling of my experiences in this realm see this post by new blogger Professor Anonymous), served on the departmental "oh my god how are we going to meet the current budget cuts" committee (depressing work for a number of reasons best left for another post), worked on a proposal for a bold, ambitious (read: slight crazy) project that I love but know has little chance, battled one of my lightening rod manuscripts into acceptance (I still won't believe this one until it's in print), had a biopsy for breast cancer (clean, thank God), and found out I was pregnant (when my doctor monitoring the suspicious lump found out I was pregnant all thoughts of not cutting into me went right out of his head. This either indicates that he was less willing to take a risk with a pregnant woman or has deep seated issues regarding pregnancy better not explored; my experiences as a pregnant assistant professor are undoubtedly my next post).
Every single one of these things has been happening concurrently, so the best I could do bloggospherically was keep up with my favorite bloggers as a lurker while Professor Chaos languished in silence. But I have been keeping up with everyone. Some of my favorite story lines have been: PiTs continuing TP2 saga (I both laugh and cringe with every post since I have TP2s in my department, but my department is big enough for me to hide from them), Prof-life Substance's battles with his collaborator on a proposal and grant office (loved the grant office story so much that I considered doing the same to my voicemail), posts over at Drugmonkey on the NIH responses to the stimulus bill (and then me comparing that with the flurry of emails I've been getting about NSF), PhysioProf's random spewings on basketball (I don't give a rat's ass about football, but at least in college basketball I have a couple alma maters I care about that get to the NCAA tournament), and Isis' flashbacks to being pregnant and a new mother which I have found most timely! Oh, and thanks to both Isis and Odyssey for blogrolling Professor Anonymous. If you haven't read that blog yet, go over and check Prof Anon out - I haven't laughed that hard consistently in a long long while!
I'm hoping to get back up and running here soon...I may not be real regular until school ends, but I promise I haven't given up on Professor Chaos! When I started Professor Chaos I promised myself I would stop if a) academia stopped being absurd (for some reason something about pigs and wings comes to mind) or b) the absurdity stopped being funny to me. The former has definitely not happened and now that I'm getting some energy back, my sense of humor about academia is rapidly returning. Thanks to those who haven't given up on me!