The plants I'd put in there--all of which are hardy succulents, by the way--were partially dead. I apologized to them as I watered them. I was also apologizing to the abandoned books, the abandoned work, the advisers who might actually have thought they'd see something useful from me this summer--and to myself.
I am desperate for this summer course to be over so I can begin to do something with my own work. I have given a lot of myself for a good while now, often to students who gave very little back. I need to read and write for myself as much (or maybe even more than) those plants needed water.
In part because I haven't felt particularly encouraged in or about my own work, I think my academic identity has become much more invested in teaching than in research during the past few years. I know I can teach fairly well, and I do feel that teaching is the most important thing most of us do as academics. But I can truly say, from the bottom of my heart, "Thank God I will not be teaching this year." Thank God.
I had plans to write something about the fifth anniversary of 9/11 today, but I'm underwatered and overworked. Other people will and have done better jobs, anyway.