Thinking About Work Over Break

Well, break is technically here (final grades aren’t due for a few days yet, but most of the horses are in the barn), and it’s time to think about what I want to do on that break.

I should clarify a bit.  Throughout the semester, I often tell myself “no time to do that now, it’ll have to wait for break.”  And, if you say that enough over the course of fifteen weeks, you find yourself with an impressively (and impossibly) long list of things to do.  I’m not talking about that.  That list will get prioritized and cut down and, well, pushed off to the next break, in some cases.

I’ve also got some things to do to prepare for Spring semester—scheduling Calibration sessions, ironing out the details on my syllabi, that sort of thing.  That’s not really an option, of course, so I don’t mean that, either. 

One last thing I don’t mean: the promises I’ve already made to people regarding meetings, research, and writing.  Again, not really an option (promises must be kept!), so I don’t mean that.

As you can see, my break is already filling up fairly quickly!  But I do have some time to do reading and writing that is pretty far afield from my teaching, or administration, or the things I’m pushing toward publication.  I can dive into some new methods, or break some new (for myself) ground that I wouldn’t normally have the time to wrap my head around.  And that’s what I’m thinking about now.

I haven’t set up a particular course of reading for myself, or anything like that.  Instead, I’m starting small.  Joaquim Siles Borràs has an intriguingly-titled book, The Ethics of Husserl’s Phenomenology, that I’m really interested in diving further into.  So I think I am going to start there.

I’ve jumped into phenomenology before, but often as a way of thinking about a particular phenomenon of interest.  But my reading of this isn’t reading to translate into writing research, or reading as if Borràs was talking about writing research.  Instead, my reading is going to take Borràs on his own terms, trying to make sense of the ethical implications of a philosophical approach that I’ve been working with for some time.

That’s about it for my “work” over break.  I’ll check back in as I work out the details of the book, and see where it takes me.  And it might not take me anywhere near writing research, at least not for a while.  But I think that’s what reading over the break is for—to leap without looking a bit, and see what comes up.

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